18 August 2016

Repeal of 18C would send 'worst possible message'

Peter Wertheim, executive director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, said if the Coalition backed a bill by Liberal senator Cory Bernardi to remove “offend” and “insult” from section 18C of the RDA, it would be the worst possible message.

“The removal of the words ‘offend’ and ‘insult’ from section 18C would send a signal from government that the public promotion of racism will be tolerated in Australia and will no longer be considered to violate community standards...That would be the worst possible message to send at a time of increasing fear, insecurity and polarisation. It would be a serious abrogation of principled leadership by government.”

Cory Bernardi: ‘While some want to abolish [18C], a good start would be to remove the words ‘offend’ and ‘insult’ from the act.’
Cory Bernardi: ‘While some want to abolish [18C], a good start would be to remove the words ‘offend’ and ‘insult’ from the act.’ Photograph: Stefan Postles/AAP