Page 4022 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

has been refined to require that the discrimination be reasonable, proportionate and justifiable. Importantly, the exception does not apply to children under 12 years of age. Sport for younger children is primarily a social and health activity where physical differences among players are less likely to impact the safety, fairness or competitiveness of a sporting activity.

This exclusion does not prevent sporting activities for children under 12 being organised by sex. The amendment is simply intended to provide flexibility for individual children who may wish to play in a particular team—for example, because it better reflects their gender identity or offers greater opportunities for development. This same exclusion applies under the commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act and it will not be new for sporting organisations.

The exception for discrimination on the grounds of disability in competitive sporting activities has been updated to incorporate the language used in the equivalent commonwealth legislation and to require that the discrimination be reasonable, proportionate and justifiable.

We have heard the strong view of religious groups and people of faith in our community that the ordination and training of clergy and arrangement of religious observances are sacred and at the heart of the expression of their religious freedom. We understand that view and we have listened and we are retaining the existing exceptions for these matters. However, this bill will narrow other exceptions relating to religious bodies to better protect equality rights.A religious body will only be permitted to discriminate in employment or the provision of goods and services to the public if the discrimination is on the grounds of religious conviction and not on any other grounds. The discrimination must be necessary to avoid injury to the religious susceptibilities of adherence to the relevant religion and confirm to the doctrines, tenets or beliefs of the religion. The religious body must also have a publicly accessible policy that sets out how they discriminate in these matters. This requirement is about encouraging greater transparency and allowing both the community and the government to make informed decisions about whether to engage or contract with a particular religious body. It mirrors the approach that has been in place for religious schools since 2018 and has been working well. The exceptions do not apply to religious bodies whose sole or main purpose is commercial. There are no changes to exceptions for religious educational institutions.

The bill combines the exceptions for clubs and voluntary bodies. Discrimination is only permitted in the provisions of membership, benefits or services if the club or body is established for the benefit of a class of people sharing a protected attribute and the person does not have this attribute and the discrimination is reasonable, proportionate and justifiable.

In relation to exceptions concerning discrimination in work, the bill requires employers seeking to discriminate on the basis of genuine occupational qualification or inherent requirements of a position to demonstrate that this is reasonable, proportionate and justifiable in all the circumstances. These exceptions have been expanded to cover all protected attributes. This bill adds an exception to allow discrimination on the grounds of age, in a competition.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video