Sydney (Tribune International, NSW Labor Media, 2 March 2021): Labor has urged the Berejiklian Government to properly enforce section 93Z of the Crimes Act which protects multicultural and religious communities from racial hatred.
Liberal Attorney-General Mark Speakman admitted under questioning in Budget Estimates that there have only been two prosecutions under the act and that both prosecutions have to be annulled.
The Liberals and Nationals did not want to introduce this new section and only did so in 2018 after pressure from many multicultural and religious communities because their existing laws were not strong enough.
Mr Speakman revealed that his Government is not doing enough to enforce these new laws on the same day that a Cumberland City Councillor of Chinese Australian background received an anonymous letter filled with appalling racist abuse.
NSW Labor Leader and Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism Jodi McKay said: “Racial vilification is a criminal act. It is dangerous, hurtful and bad for our community. It is something the Berejiklian Government needs to take seriously.
“I constantly get reports of racial vilification from people who are faced with it every day. The fact that there have only been two prosecutions since the laws were passed which now have to be annulled is simply not good enough.
“Our multicultural and religious communities deserve protection from racism. The Government must do better.”
Shadow Attorney General Paul Lynch said: “The Berejiklian Government has simply not taken this issue seriously.
“They had to be dragged into updating the law several years ago. Then they simply didn’t use it for a couple of years, and now when they use it they can’t use it properly.”
“This is not just mere incompetence, the Berejiklian Government simply doesn’t take the scourge of racist hate-speech seriously.”