Page 2359 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 August 2016

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I heard Mr Corbell’s comments, and I am encouraged by them. I do not think that this will be used as an opportunity to restrict people, whatever faith they are, from expressing their views or practising elements of their faith. It is very important that they can continue to do so and that we do not have laws that impinge on the ability for people of faith to express their views openly and without prejudice.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (4.47): I thank colleagues for their support for this. I believe this a worthwhile amendment that will be valuable to our community.

I take on board the comments that Mr Hanson made about this applying to all religious faiths, and that is certainly my intent. I particularly spoke about those of the Muslim faith because I feel it is the most contentious issue in our community at the moment, and it is where there are the most serious and striking examples. I do agree that whatever somebody’s faith is they should not be subject to vilification. That is certainly the way the law is framed, and I ask you not to take my particular focus on a particular case study as excluding those other religions.

I trust that this will assist to continue to make Canberra a place where people feel welcome, where they feel safe; that it is the city we want it to be. Hopefully, improvements like this, which set out a very clear position, help enhance that reputation.

When I spoke to Philip Clark on the radio this morning, we were talking about the difference between debate and vilification. He talked about civility in public discourse. I think one can have a robust discussion about ideas, about the impact of religion and about the particular views of particular religions without going to the space of vilification. Hopefully, these laws will assist in guiding that debate in the community and being clear about what we aspire to as a community.

Amendments agreed to.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Residential Tenancies Legislation Amendment Bill 2016

Debate resumed from 8 June 2016, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.49): I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak to the Residential Tenancies Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 today. The bill is for an act to amend legislation about residential tenancies, and for other purposes. It is important to recognise it is for private rental and public housing rental; the same legislation generally applies.

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