MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has today announced that the State Government would be cracking down on race hate speech to better protect vulnerable people and groups from serious racial vilification.
Mr Marshall said recent events had illustrated we are living at a time where we need to promote and foster harmony and tolerance.
“NSW is one of the most culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse communities in the world and our region is no different with people from all around the world now calling our region home, establishing businesses and contributing to the community,” Mr Marshall said.
“I am vehemently opposed to racial vilification and hate speech and at the moment the government is working towards improving our laws so they better protect vulnerable members of the community.
“We cannot allow violent race hate speech to fan flames of division and tear our communities apart. Make no mistake, words are dangerous weapons for race hate preachers and violent extremists. Change is needed to safeguard our community.”
Under the government’s plan, Mr Marshall said most of the recommendations of the Law and Justice Committee’s Report into racial vilification laws in NSW would be adopted.
The Committee reviewed the effectiveness of Section 20D of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977, and made recommendations to improve its operation, including:
- increasing maximum penalties;
- allowing the President of the Anti-Discrimination Board to refer complaints directly to the NSW Police; and
- extending the time limit for commencing prosecutions from 6 months to 12 months.
Following extensive consultation, the NSW Government will release an exposure draft of a bill in January 2016. Legislation will be introduced into NSW Parliament in the 2016 Budget Session.
Mr Marshall said details of the public consultation would be released shortly.