There are a number of federal anti-discrimination laws in Australia which aim to tackle discrimination on the basis of race, sex, disability and age. The Australian Government has committed to consolidating these laws into a single Act. As part of this process, the Government will examine gaps in existing federal anti-discrimination laws.
Announcing the consolidation process in April 2010, the Commonwealth Attorney-General, Robert McClelland said, “Effective anti-discrimination legislation is an important element in removing barriers to greater inclusion and participation in society. Anti-discrimination law should be clear and easy to understand because people shouldn’t need expensive legal advice to know their rights and obligations.”
The move towards a single Equality Act is a welcome one. This as an important opportunity to not only simplify and streamline the laws, but also strengthen and modernise them. A number of organisations have signed a joint letter to the Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, calling for Australia’s anti-discrimination regime to be strengthened and to promote equality and fairness for all.
This independently published website is to encourage and facilitate discussions about the consolidation process and help inform and engage organisations with an interest in equality and anti-discrimination laws. It has been created by and is moderated by the Human Rights Law Centre, but is used by a range of non-government organisations (NGOs) with an active interested in equality and anti-discrimination. The site was created with financial assistance from the Australian Attorney-General’s Department.
This website aims to generate discussion about the consolidation process, will provide updates about the Government’s progress, links to useful resources and materials and will alert organisations and the broader community about opportunities to have a say about some of Australia’s most important human rights laws.
In July 2011 the HRLC convened a conference to encourage and inform debate on the Commonwealth Government's consolidation of its anti-discrimination laws. Check out this page for a wrap-up of the conference, speakers presentations and materials and video footage and photos from the day.