Page 889 - Week 03 - Thursday, 7 April 2022
progress we are making to support children and young people to grow and thrive in our community. I present the following paper:
ACT Children and Young People’s Commitment 2015-2025—Progress update on the implementation—Ministerial statement, 7 April 2022.
That the Assembly take note of the paper.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Human rights—Discrimination Law Reform
MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (10.34): I am pleased today to provide an update on the government’s commitment to review the Discrimination Act as part of the implementation of the Capital of Equality Strategy 2019-23, and as reflected in the parliamentary and governing agreement.
Protections in our Discrimination Act play a vital role in supporting our diverse community. This review is an important reform to make sure our Discrimination Act is at the forefront of best practice, and that we have the legal framework to promote equal opportunity, respect and inclusion.
Our Discrimination Act is now over 30 years old. Members may recall that the act underwent significant reforms following the ACT Law Reform Advisory Council’s 2015 final report into the Review of the Discrimination Act 1991. However, there is still more to do. These reforms build on and draw from the LRAC report, as it is known, to further modernise our discrimination law.
To this effect, a public consultation was launched in October 2021 via the Your Say website, with a discussion paper and eight short consultation guides to help the community understand the proposals for reform. Individuals and organisations were invited to make a submission by sending an email or leaving a voice message. Participants also had the option to complete a short survey with 15 key questions arising from the discussion paper. The discussion paper invited members of the community to comment on four broad areas of proposed reform. These areas were expanding the coverage of the Discrimination Act, replacing the exceptions to unlawful discrimination with a new single justification defence, refining the existing exceptions, and introducing a positive duty to prevent discrimination.
Through the public consultation the government received 25 submissions and 17 survey responses. We facilitated three community roundtables, including one with religious bodies, and provided 14 tailored briefings to government and non-government organisations. The government received feedback on the proposed