Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 11 November 2021) . . Page.. 3406 ..


decision-maker if we are going to have a chance at turning this around. I commend my motion to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

COVID-19 pandemic—racism

MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (5.55): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, racism amongst a small minority of Canberrans has surfaced and been directed towards those of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds;

(b) this intolerance has resulted in what appears to be an increase in verbal racial attacks and threats of actual physical attacks;

(c) when it occurs, this kind of abuse is damaging to both the individual being targeted and their entire community;

(d) the vast majority of Canberrans are respectful to all people and abhor such behaviour;

(e) when such incidents occur in the workplace, industrial laws and policies provide a mechanism for redress to affected individuals;

(f) whilst illegal, when such incidents occur in the public domain, affected individuals have greater difficulty in recording their experiences and seeking redress;

(g) victims can experience barriers in accessing the existing complaints processes of the Human Rights Commission, and ACT Policing must prioritise its resources, which together contribute to the difficulty in obtaining a full picture of the prevalence and circumstances of such incidents; and

(h) Australia has not had a national anti-racism strategy since 2018, and that a national anti-racism framework was proposed by the Race Discrimination Commissioner in March 2021 and publicly welcomed by the ACT Government;

(2) refers this matter to the Standing Committee on Education and Community Inclusion for an inquiry to investigate the prevalence of and, mechanisms for, reporting incidents of vilification and threats of physical violence on persons in the Territory on the basis of their race, linguistic diversity, ethnic origin, religion or status as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people;

(3) requests the Committee in conducting its inquiry to have regard to the:

(a) social and legal context in which vilification based on race, linguistic diversity, ethnic origin, religion or status as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people occurs;

(b) effectiveness of existing reporting mechanisms, both for the purpose of redress in relation to individual incidents and for statistical monitoring of the prevalence of vilification based on race, linguistic diversity, ethnic


Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video