Amendments to Anti-Discrimination Act
Proposed amendments to Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 seek to strike a better balance between free speech and protection from discrimination according to the government. The amendments tabled in Tasmania’s Legislative Assembly include an exemption for ‘religious purposes’ as well as amending the powers of the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner to reject or dismiss a complaint. The Bill has been heavily criticised with forty prominent Tasmanians, including MONA’s David Walsh and TV Presenter Matthew Evans as well as organisations including Unions Tasmania and Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, putting their names to a full-page advertisement in The Saturday Mercury calling for its rejection. The Bill, which appeared headed for a Legislative Council Committee Inquiry for further scrutiny has now been adjourned until 2017, to allow the government to undertake further community consultation.