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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 7 Hansard (4 August) . .

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There are also new powers for the provision of information about complaints to the ACAT and, in limited circumstances, to researchers and academics. This will reduce the fact-finding burden on the ACAT and promote better understanding of systemic discrimination issues.

Finally, the bill provides additional guidance the ACAT must take into account in making an award of compensation if a complaint is upheld.

The bill will build on the existing rights protection foundations that sit in the ACT's key laws: the Discrimination Act, the Human Rights Act and the Human Rights Commission Act. The measures in this bill will promote non-discrimination and improve the ability of all members of our society, particularly those who are vulnerable, to exercise their rights and ultimately to better participate in a respectful and inclusive Canberra community.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (4.36): I seek leave to move amendments Nos 1 to 3 circulated in my name together.

Leave granted.

MR RATTENBURY: I move amendments Nos 1 to 3 circulated in my name [see schedule 3 at pages 2388-2389].

Colleagues, these are the amendments that bring forward the addition of religious conviction as a ground for not being discriminated against or vilified, as I described in my earlier remarks. I do not intend to add anything more at this point.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for the Environment and Climate Change) (4.37): I thank Mr Rattenbury for his amendments, which will expand the vilification protections in the act to cover religious conviction. The Labor members of the government will be supporting these amendments. They are in keeping with the spirit and intention of the discrimination and human rights framework in the ACT and were recommended by the ACT Law Reform Advisory Council in its report on the review of the Discrimination Act. In developing this bill, the government was of the view that the vilification protections should be expanded and had considered that they would do so in stage 2 amendments to this act.

The amendments will make it unlawful to incite hatred, serious contempt or revulsion or severe ridicule of a person based on their religious convictions. The law would not cover acts or speech done in private. There are exceptions for reasonable and honest discussion, debate, and fair reporting, and in performing or producing arts.

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