People power wins over racism

The dumping of proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act was a credit to people power, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights agency ANTaR national director Andrew Meehan said.

He congratulated the many community organisations that took the time to speak up and make a submission to the proposed changes.

More than 70 per cent of submissions to the Federal Government were opposed to the proposed changes.

“The Racial Discrimination Act gives effect to our obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination and should never be changed to sanction racially discriminatory behaviour,” Mr Meehan said.

“It’s simply not okay to offend, insult, intimidate and humiliate on the basis of race.

“Government should be leading the way, not seeking to undercut such a fundamental and basic protection.”

“This just shows that the Government was way out of step with community expectations on this issue,” Mr Meehan said.