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Racial Discrimination Act proposed changes

Related information

Statement from the Commission on proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth), Section18C

It is well documented and researched that race discrimination, racial and religious vilification have detrimental effects on individuals and communities and the South Australian Equal Opportunity Commission supports laws which protect people from this unlawful behaviour. We know that people who are the target of race discrimination, racial or religious vilification feel unsafe, marginalised and vulnerable.

The South Australian Racial Vilification Act 1996 defines racial vilification as behaviour that ‘incites hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of, a person or group of persons on the ground of their race’.

The Federal Government has recently announced proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth), specifically Section 18C. More information about those proposed changes can be found here:

Amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 | Attorney-General's Department

The Federal Government has sought submissions from all stakeholders on its proposed reforms by 30 April 2014.

The South Australian Equal Opportunity Commission will be making a submission and we encourage all interested people and organisations to take this opportunity to express your feedback about these proposed reforms.

Submissions can be emailed to s18cconsultation@ag.gov.au or posted to:

Human Rights Policy Branch
Attorney-General's Department
3-5 National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600

For more information visit www.ag.gov.au

Important information for South Australians

The proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 will not change your rights under South Australian law and do not change what you can report to the Commission. In South Australia we have the Racial Vilification Act 1996 and the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 which offer protection from harassment and discrimination based on race:

  • The Equal Opportunity Act 1984 - South Australia’s anti-discrimination law protects people from discrimination and harassment based on race in areas of public life such as workplaces, schools, clubs, shops or places that provide services.
  • The Racial Vilification Act 1996 provides protection from vilification. Vilification is behaviour that incites hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of, a person or group of persons on the ground of their race.

You can use our contact form, call us on (08) 8207 1977, or email eoc@agd.sa.gov.au if you have any questions or if you wish to make a complaint under these laws.

Also it is important for you to know that the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 are still draft and have not been passed into law. People can still make complaints under the existing provisions and this won't change until any new proposal is passed by Parliament.