Poliversity congratulates the Australian Labor Party (ALP) for defending diversity and multiculturalism in Australia by announcing its opposition to the proposed amendments presented by Family First Senator Bob Day to water down Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA).
Led by Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism Michelle Rowland, the ALP is urging the Prime Minister to clarify his government’s position and pull the right wing of his party into line.
“Poliversity would like to acknowledge the ALP for their leadership in opposing this divisive bill and taking into consideration the feedback and concerns raised by the multicultural community”, said Jieh-Yung Lo, Co-Founder of Poliversity.
“Many multicultural leaders and organisations Poliversity has spoken to in the past week are very concerned that the watering down of Section 18C will open the gates for more hate speech against communities in our multicultural society.
“The weakening of the RDA will be detrimental to achieving greater opportunities to engage Australians of multicultural backgrounds to participate in the political and social process.
On Thursday 15 October, ALP Senators Sue Lines, Jenny McAllister and Lisa Singh spoke passionately in defence of Section 18C and the RDA as it stands and the importance to protect Australia’s multicultural communities against hate speech, racial discrimination and vilification.
While Poliversity supports the ALP’s position, we strongly urge the Shadow Minister and the ALP to stand firm and continue advocating the multicultural community’s concerns to the federal government, minor parties and crossbenchers to ensure the private member’s bill is defeated.
“After discussions with various community groups, they are concerned that there are still parliamentarians willing to support division and disunity within our multicultural society after the government’s decision to drop the changes to Section 18C last year.
“We believe the ALP needs to do more to convince the government and crossbenchers to acknowledge and accept the community’s concerns and reject the amendment”, said Mr Lo.
Poliversity aims to continue discussions with Australia’s multicultural leaders, representatives and organisations in the next few days to ensure their views, feedback and concerns on this issue are raised to the ALP for consideration.