LibertyWorks Submission to Joint Enquiry on Free Speech

9 December 2016

Committee Secretary
Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights
PO Box 6100,
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Committee Members

Submission to enquiry on Freedom of Speech in Australia

LibertyWorks is a registered not-for-profit organisation headquartered in Queensland. We advocate for a reduction in government control over citizens liberty and have since our inception held grave concerns over the limitations that the Racial Discrimination Act and the procedures of the Australian Human Rights Commission (“AHRC”) places on free speech in Australia.

We refer to the Terms of Reference of the enquiry and call for the full repeal of Sections 18C and 18D of the Racial Discrimination Act (‘the Act”). Our rationale is as follows:

The Act reduces liberty

Freedom of speech is a fundamental right owned by all citizens and that the ability to exercise that right is crucial to intellectual discovery, learning, enlightenment, science, law, free trade and most aspects of a free society. The exercise of free speech breaches no individual’s common law rights nor can it be said to breach anyone else’s “natural rights”; their right to life, liberty and property.

In a free society, speech is moderated by custom, peer pressure, cultural norms and a variety of other social factors. In contrast, placing legislative limits on speech is a hallmark of of socialist, marxist, theocratic or fascists states that seek control over citizens. The Act does not expand anyone’s rights, it only diminishes a fundamental rights owned by all, the right to speak freely, and repeal would return those rights to all of us.

Seeks to protect what does not exist

There is no right to not feel offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated. Those feelings are in the learned control of all of us yet the Act seeks to shield us from them. Because the Act seeks to protect us from those feelings, to stop us from feeling offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated, it is actually an attempt to take away something else that rightly belongs to all of us; our right to hear uncomfortable things, to feel those specific emotions when we choose and to learn and grow from them.

Seeks to control the uncontrollable

The Act seeks to control feelings that arise in entirely unpredictable ways. No one comment is guaranteed to offend everyone and no one comment is guaranteed to offend no-one. What is offensive, insulting, humiliating or intimidating to one person may not be so to another. And what is so today, may not be so tomorrow. The feelings of others can be influenced by the environment and circumstances far beyond the control of legislators. In an era of global and instant communications, of “fake” news and terrorist Twitter posts, predicting the feelings of others based on what is spoken, written or observed is not a precise science. The Act can not possibly be successful in controlling feelings in people, something that observably is simply not controllable.

It’s ineffective

There is no evidence to suggest that the legislation is effective. The Australian Human Rights Commission’s (“AHRC”) own report “Freedom from Discrimination: Report on the 40th anniversary of the Racial Discrimination Act NATIONAL CONSULTATION REPORT • 2015” cites rising incidents and feelings of discrimination. Many of the incidents described in the report relate to “silent” discrimination, where “Racism need not involve overt expression. The potency of racial prejudice may in fact lie in its subtlety and insidiousness”.

As there is no clear evidence that the legislation has reduced discrimination it would appear the Act has failed to achieve its original objective. Why then should we keep legislation that takes away everybody’s right to free speech yet fails to reduce discrimination? The answer of course is we should not.

It reduces our collective strength

The Act and dispute resolution procedures of the AGRC offers remedies and financial rewards to people who complain of feeling offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated. As feelings are in the control and domain of all of us, it follows that some people will rationally respond to the inducements and lodge complaints in the hope of obtaining a financial benefit.

The Act actively discourages people from learning, through experience, about how to deal with uncomfortable feelings. The Act encourages us to hold on to hurt feelings, to use them as a weapon against those that have caused our pain, rather than to learn and grow from them. The Act encourages a reduction in the maturity level and ability to deal with adversity of many individuals which in turn diminishes our collective national strength.

The process becomes the punishment

The process of handling of complaints made to the AHRC under the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth) is flawed. Although the Commissioner has the power to terminate vexatious complaints, the Prior v QUT  case and the complaint accepted by the Commission against cartoonist Bill Leak, illustrate that they are accepting complaints that are vexatious and have no legal standing, resulting in the accused parties suffering considerable legal expenses and lengthy processes that becomes the punishment in itself.

According to the AHRC, only three percent of complaints handled ever make it to the courts. The 97 percent of claims that are handled internally are conducted in secret and no details of these cases are made public. This is concerning, as the public has no way of assessing how 18c complaints are handled. We ask that the Committee conduct an audit of all AHRC complaints received  in order to fully determine whether the process up until this point has been appropriate.

We believe that freedom of speech is a fundamental liberty granted to all people and that the ability to exercise that right is crucial to discovery, learning, enlightenment science, law, free trade and practically all aspects of a free society. In short, freedom of speech is important for human progress. We urge the Committee to support free speech by recommending the repeal of Sections 18C and 18D and the reform of how the Australian Human Rights Commission handles human rights complaints.

Yours faithfully

Andrew Cooper
LibertyWorks Inc.
e: [email protected]

141 Comments on "LibertyWorks Submission to Joint Enquiry on Free Speech"

  1. there are limits to free speech, and rightly so. To scream “fire” in a cinema, or abuse and denigrate someone who is of a different race or culture, simply because they are different is irresponsible use of speech. What does 18C prevent you from saying?

    • If only someone had written a submission answering those questions.

    • But abuse and denigration is all the far left leaning media does any more… why is it OK for them and the vast majority of social media?

      The truth is, you only want to crack down on certain loosely defined types of abuse and denigration. This is exactly the type of thing people need to be fighting back against, before it is too late.

    • Because if you don’t pander to the pissant libtard narrative of white guilt and feminazi indoctrination you are a pariah. Fightback time my friend

    • There are NO limits to free speech. Unless you don’t play the leftist game and get shouted down. This sad chapter will be over soon. The people are finally waking up.

    • Then why aren’t you campaigning against national security laws that stop Al Quaeda or ISIS supporters from distributing information if you are so fond of free speech, why only 18C? Surely libel and slander laws should go in a free society as well.

  2. You know at the end of the day, we the citizens have to stand up for our rights before we have no liberty or freedom of speech!

  3. Inquire as far as 18D and all this will go away.

    • Really? Explain that to the QUT kids, hey.

    • Their case was dismissed. Like I said in the other comment if people understood the laws there’d be less complaints made and less people being investigated. An article detailing protections under 18D would do far more to protect and inform people.

  4. Beat up by emotional xenophobes. Read 18D in conjunction then go away. Freedom of speech does not embrace vilification and hate.

    • But vilification and hate is all the far left leaning media does any more… why is it OK for them and the vast majority of social media?

      The truth is, you only want to crack down on certain loosely defined types of vilification and hate. This is exactly the type of thing people need to be fighting back against, before it is too late.

    • Toby Zuijdveld what a load of hysterical trot. Left leaning media??? Bigots like Bolt complains about 18c when he got done for telling lies about people. It was liable, plain and simple. The fact that the intent was racist had nothing to do with freedom of speech. Grow up.

    • 18D doesn’t protect anyone who is punished by the process. Read about the disgraceful extortion of Kyran Findlater who was pressured into coughing up $5000 plus $10000 in legal fees to get a Cindy Prior’s baseless claims against him removed. If those other three students hadn’t stuck to their guns the public would never have heard about these clandestine processes.

      I don’t understand anybody who is happy to have any form of government sanction on their speech. Don’t you realise laws like this can be used against you? You’re the one who needs to grow up.

      If Andrew Bolt was guilty of libel then those were the laws that should have been used against him, not 18C. ‘The intent was racist’. That’s just baloney.

    • Ah Nicola you’ve raised your head. Bullshit, dirty bigoted neocons want to be free to vilify and divide. LibertyWorks is a contradiction of its name. Right wing think tank. I love your “reformed leftie” description in your profiles. That sums you narrow minded bigoted, climate denying idelogues perfectly.

    • No point in trying to change a libtards mind mate. Indoctrinated socialist nihilistic douchebags and too stupid to see it through all the virtue-signalling they do….

    • Nicola Wright a complete cherry picked beat up. Who by? The Australian of course.

    • You telling someone to grow up while acting like a recalcitrant child shouting down someone who says something you don’t like? Australia is sick of this totalitarian bullshit and the tide is turning. Enjoy it while you still can

    • Jesse Bell that’s right grow up! Ranting tanty from a dumb hater. Dunning-Krueger effect in full regalia. I will attack hate and dishonesty based on stupidity without reservation. Neocons attacking free speech and political correctness is as recalcitrant and entitled as it gets. The right monopolize the media and your still not satisfied. Dumb ideologues all.

    • Geoff Donnellan oh the irony. “Dirty, bigoted neocons who want to be free to vilify” he says as he sits there calling people ‘narrow minded, bigoted…ideologues’. What a joke.

      You do realise that once you resort to name-calling you’re just showing everyone that you’ve got nothing else?

      “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.” `Socrates.

    • Nicola Wright irony back at you. Then why do you have something against 18c if it isn’t about being allowed to name call. Your totally dishonest.

    • Well 18d isnt protecting columnists or cartoonists. Doesn’t seem to be worth very much.

    • Geoff Donnellan no Geoff you are. You sit here calling us names while you fail to understand the argument put forward. Have you actually read the submission?

      If you have then you wouldn’t be continuing with your simplistic assertion that calling for 18C repeal means we want to ‘name call’. You show a complete lack of understanding of our position and think that calling us names is some kind of counter-argument.

      But feel free to continue to bluster and show your ignorance…

    • Bang on Nicola Wright. I put a post up yesterday that illustrates the mind-set of guys like this: ” I am constantly accused by the most ignorant and intolerant segment in society i.e. the left of being ignorant and told to be tolerant of the most intolerant ideology on the Planet…you can’t make this shit up!”.
      The tide is turning. People are waking up. Fightback begins mate! Good on you!

    • Geoff “what a load of hysterical trot.”
      No, this is hysterical trot:
      What I said is historical fact.

    • “That sums you narrow minded bigoted, climate denying idelogues perfectly.”
      I’ll wager you still wonder why Trump won. (Hint : you caused it)

    • ” I will attack hate and dishonesty based on stupidity without reservation. ”
      Except your own comments as demonstrable in this thread alone is creating hate and dishonesty. The result being unreserved stupidity.

    • Bang on the money my friend. Time for an end to this libtard epidemic….

    • Geoff Donnellan you are the perfect example of everything that has gone wrong with this Nation. Attack me all you want. I find libtards hilarious! Debate me all you want. You will lose. Your logic is illogical and baseless. Lay it on me and have a cry when you have your arse handed to you

    • Is it possible for a libtard to argue without throwing in the unholy quartinity of “xenophobe”, “homophobe”, “islamophobe” or “mysogynist”? Answer: no. That is the extent of the vocabulary of you hypocritical, nihilistic, dogmatic, ignorant and intolerant leftards. It would be funny if it hadn’t destroyed so many lives.

    • Irony in spades. Conservatism is acceptable, rabid conservatism is just as dangerous as any other radical cross section. You Toby and Ms Nicola LibertyWorks have nothing to do with egalitarian Australian values and even less to do with sanity when it comes to climate change. I couldn’t give a tinkers cuss what you rabble think of me, but I will call LibertyWorks BS when it pops up uninvited on my page. Have a nice night.

    • Oh widdle leftard sick of rough play so retreating into Mummy’s basement. C’mon this was just getting fun!

    • Tristan O’Neill

    • Jesse Bell Lives destroyed?Has anyone died because of accusations?

    • Jesse Bell the day a knuckle dragging Bogan gets under my skin I’ll give it away. I stopped to watch the baboons for a moment and moved on, its that simple. Sorry if I didn’t notice anything worthy of denying myself sleepy time. Zieg Heil with a straight arm and finger under my nose.

    • Bahahahaha! Case in point! Love it. National Socialism is LEFT-wing. Right up your alley will leave the Nazi salutes to you.
      Lawrence Mack I am talking about the aspects of the left that have destroyed countless lives of men, women and kids such as feminism and socialism. Me being accused? Say what you want. As Geoff is slowly finding it doesn’t bother me. Libtards rely on people not wanting to be labelled. Labelling someone doesn’t make something true.
      So apparently I am a Nazi (despite not being a leftard) and a bogan. C’mon Geoff Donnellan keep em coming! This is getting fun

    • Jesse Bell I’m staring to feel sorry for you. You just need to re-read your last post.

    • I disagree with homosexuality. I have gay mates and do not try and change their minds.
      I am ex-Christian. My wife is Buddhist and I have mates that are Hindu, Judaist, Buddhist, Taoist and Atheist. I do not try to change their minds.
      I am anti-abortion. I have mates that are pro-abortion. I do not try to change their minds.
      Could go on and on. People like me don’t castigate, label, villify or accuse (except for libtard- I like that one). You lot do.
      Out of the two of us Geoff Donnellan who is more tolerant do you think?
      You lot make me laugh

    • Feel sorry? I would feel sorry for you lot if you weren’t such deadshits.
      If you actually READ what I am saying it is that it is live and let live. Not try to silence anyone that doesn’t agree with you.
      Good luck to you. Seriously. Enjoy the throne while you can because it is about to be ripped from under you. And just like Hillary-supporters in the US you will whinge and bitch and moan and stamp your feet.
      I will be laughing my arse off

    • LibertyWorks , that’s because Bolt was a fact free zone when it came to his articles. Only facts can protect you which is why you mob are so upset. Why aren’t you railing against national security laws that stop Al Quaeda and ISIS supporters from freely speaking their mind? Or don’t they have the same freedom to speak as you because you don’t like them?

    • Jesse Bell good morning princess, did you sleep well? Those who voted for Trump are already questioning their decision. Same as the fools who have voted in One Nation have voted for a party that has backed the LNP on all the issues that hurt the very people who voted for them. Next election in Australia will see the LNP out or don’t you read the polls. Your interpretation of what you said is delusional and I am annoyed at myself for even bothering.

    • John Brackin well said and exposes the racist undertone of this forum.

    • John Brackin we are against any laws that restrict freedom of speech.

    • LibertyWorks yeah right. You fool only those stupid enough or who agree with your narrow minded agenda. The proof is in the intellect and stench of your support base.

  5. The most abusive, ignorant and intolerant members in our society are the lefty proponents of this pathetic legislation. I cop racial abuse every day I work. No biggy. I have NO RIGHT to not be offended and censorship is the libtards primary weapon. It should never have been passed in the first place.

    • Then why do you support right wing laws that suppress the free speech of ISIS and Al Quaeda supporters, why aren’t you rallying for their right to say what they want? Being big on free speech you would have to be 100 percent behind their right to say what they want.

    • You see a burning flag, you get offended and want the action criminalized. Its also freedom of expression. These protections aren’t for a flag or an abstract concept like government, they are for actual human beings. Besides, there are enough protections under 18D that you have to try very very hard to actually be charged with anything.

    • Aaron, like Bill Leak? QUT kids? They tried very hard to be investigated. That’s a joke right?

    • Their cases were instantly dismissed. The problem is that nobody is making any effort to understand these laws.

    • Aaron Brammer not instantly, this has been going on for three years. How about the students who paid $5000 to make it go away? How could the students afford to get to the court (where the case was dismissed as groundless) if they weren’t represented pro bono? You should really make some effort to understand this case.

    • Aaron Brammer “You see a burning flag, you get offended and want the action criminalized” Who are you talking about? A straw man argument if I ever saw one.

    • It’s on Jesse bell’s profile. It’s something he’s particularly passionate about.

    • There are enough in built protections for freedom of speech that the issue becomes more about frivolous complaints. The best way to deal with that is to educate the public on those protections.

  6. 18c is a horrific attack on our civil rights. Good submission.

  7. Yes why shouldn’t people with big media organisations behind them be able to shit can people for belonging to a particular community group?

  8. Why has it been OK for over 40 years and now it’s seen as a problem? Maybe you are the problem.

    • It has become a symbolic battle between left and right. The right can defend its position and conveniently indirectly imply the left are fascist/anti free speech. The left basically don’t want terrorists/racists to be able to incite or any symbolic gesture condoning racism. Then you have people like Cory Bernadi spreading misinformation like “if you say you like a football team you can be charged.” Football team isn’t a race…

    • The left fascist? That would be a stretch. Fascism is the domain of the far right.

  9. Just a bunch of haters 18C doesn’t worry good people only haters

  10. Racial ??? Piffle – TRIBAL IS the GO !

  11. Socialist alliance…..what a Class ?intolerant,ignorant….

  12. S. 45(4)(c) amended by No. 2/2006 s. 9(1). (c) the accused satisfies the court on the balance of probabilities that he or she believed on reasonable grounds that he or she was married to the child. (how about looking into this?)

  13. 18D means no 18C can not threaten free speech. Get over it. There’s more important issues.

  14. [Don Mackay Boss, get in on this]

    Some people simply do not understand the importance of this issue..

    Go to Germany today…

    You can be imprisoned or fined for telling the truth.

    You can be imprisoned or fined for something you didn’t even say, for something you “probably would have said” or being present and appearing to agree with something someone else said.

    You can be imprisoned just for making an enquiry.

    As soon as Freedom of Speech is eroded at one corner, the whole lot is quick to be liquidated, just like in Germany.

    We must NOT let this happen in Australia.

    18C must go!

    • Carl, may I have a reputable link/source for your statements about Germany ‘today’?

      Firstly 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act only refers to actions done in a public place. You can continue carrying on like a pork chop, everywhere else.

      Next, section 18D of the Racial Discrimination Act contains exemptions which protect freedom of speech. These ensure that artistic works, scientific debate and fair comment on matters of public interest are exempt from section 18C, providing they are said or done reasonably and in good faith.

      If we lived in a country where its residents respected one another, then I would agree with you. While there are people who spit at, swear at, abuse, physically threaten, and vilify others just because of their ethnicity, or religion, then the government needs to legislate the need for people to at least be “be nice to each other”.

      Heaven forbid if we ever took that huge step and decided that we would love one another.

      [Australia has obligations to implement protections against racial hatred under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).]

    • Germany? Is a tyranny today, a police state like Kaiser Bill or the Fuhrer could not have envisioned.

      2000 people per year are tried for violations. I’ll dig up what you want to see if I have to, but google around a bit, it’s not a free country.

      As for your quips about THIS country, being racist and bigoted.. Man that’s the SECOND time today I have been levelled with this bizarre statement.

      Australia is the LEAST racist country of any country I know!!! It’s multicultural for a start, which by necessity has greater racial tension than more pure race nations by this virtue alone. And we have the laxest refugee and immigration policies, we free trade with everyone and we even export out services at the exclusion of our own citizens..

      When I go to Uni, it’s 50%!! foreigners!!! FIFTY!!! And they are not citizens, they are here to study and go, taking our spots.

      Please indicate any other nation in the world that is more charitable to outsiders first.

      Outsider racism toward US is probably the greatest reason TO abolish 18C!!

    • Have you actually been to Germany? It is pretty relaxed and they don’t go for the nanny state thing on a personal level. Sure they have some pretty tough anti fascism policies, but that is hardly surprising. Universities here are business that actively seek overseas students to make money out of them. It can be argued that they are subsidising Australian kids. Compared to London, Australia has a fair amount of casual racism. It’s not that bad, but no it’s not the best.


      Watch this 1hr video and there’s your Germany/Europe today..

      A tyranny.. Nothing less..

      Also Ursula Haverbeck.. a 90 year old lady, 10 months imprisonment for making enquiry’s.. Is SHE a fascist??

      – Burning books
      – Freedom of speech smashed
      – Imprisonment for things you didn’t even say etc

      Is this anti-fascism?? Sounds more like ACTUAL fascism to me!

      As for Australia? Not that I think it’s a bad thing but Britain PURPOSELy GOT out of the EU so not to be swamped by immigrants and yet you want to sell that the most non racist country the world has ever known.. Australia, where I live and work with multiculturalism day in day out and have never once encountered racism (except from some indigenous racism which we excuse) is MORE racist than bloody England??

      It’s hard to take that seriously, I assume it’s propaganda or a joke.

      Moreover… EVERYBODY on the fence with 18C should watch Irving for an hour here and I swear that any healthy minded person will want to smash any legislation that touches freedom of speech in any way…

      Freedom of ACTION is one thing. Freedom of speech? NEVER can you touch that!

    • It is great to see others on this post with half a brain mate. WE HAVE NO RIGHTS NOT TO BE OFFENDED. Period.

    • It should never have been enacted in the first place.

    • Taking it you didn’t see the gang-rapes, censorship and violence going on there due to said censorship and a Government crushing their people’s rights.
      I have spoken with Germans who were on the train in Wurzburg, who were at the New Years rape fest and who live in fear of both prosecution for speaking out AND the pricks invading their Country.
      Love the virtue-signalling though.

    • Jesse Bell I couldn’t agree more!!!

      It’s kind of like this… “We’re going to culturally conquer your country and your people and HOW DARE you speak about it. In fact, we’re going to make it illegal for you to even question it, so shut up and watch it on your knees.”

      That’s pretty much what these people are saying and this whole “racist” card is what they throw up in defense.

      THEY are the racists!! And the people helping with the flood, the “Internationalists”, they don’t care about sovereignty or a people at all.

    • Who exactly do you want to insult and offend, Gary?

    • Who is doing that, Carl? Apart from Murdoch?

    • I seem to recall something happening in Germany when hate speech was rampant… say the late 1930’s through to the mid 1940’s? Just can’t put my finger on it….

    • Greg Mitchell Oh yeah, what do you remember?? Please share your “gas chamber” experiences with us LOL

    • Greg Mitchell Not only you but everyone should listen very carefully to this lecture.

  15. Yeah I see this Jason but if we carry on the same path as the others it wont be long before we can find ourselves in court as well.

    I should be able to call Donny an immigrant whenever I like!! LOL

  16. On the contrary, I think that racial assaults ARE protected, hateful assaults are protected without 18C.

    The proof can be shown by the tyranny’s of nations that have gone down this path.

    This is political correctness gone wrong I reckon.

  17. Liberty Works needs to push for Australia to have its own Bill of Rights which will give our constitution a basis to refer to into the future.

  18. Jesse Bell love your work mate .i don’t think Geoff (of the left) Donnellan called you a mysogyist is he really a lefty ??.

  19. Ps please feel free to correct my spelling and grammar 🙂

  20. Stephen Jones

  21. Do we really have to like every race, if so why? we don’t even like the bloke next door and he had been there 30 years, so why would we like a brutal race of anti Christian murders, who take murder as their right, marry children and stone to death women who dare to look or say hello to another man. Why would we like such a race of morons that breed terrorists around the world with one aim, that is to kill as many people as possible. Why is it that the Muslim preachers can say what they like however we cannot. The bleeding heart in this country need to wake up or get out of the country, we don’t care for you ass wipes.

  22. What is wrong with free speech is not body want to hear the truth,

  23. Boo hoo hoo, not having the liberty to be racist. Have a sook about something serious.

    • What is more racist than the Govt & the Media?

    • People who bitch and moan that a minor piece of legislation prevents them from saying racist things. If your definition of freedom of speech is the freedom to denigrate others then you have a warped view of freedom.

    • If you view of freedom is shutting the hell up and not offending anyone you have the warped view. Regulation is the step towards prohibition and if one thing you say can be illegal then what stops the Government saying other things are illegal? What about when people get offended by other people’s political views does Freedom of Speech count now?

      Also note how those laws don’t apply to insulting whites. We get blamed for every single issue and told we are responsible for actions taken before our families where even in the Hemisphere but that’s fine. Dare to say that Aboriginals are more violent towards children and you get dragged over the coals. Dare to ask that and you’ll be scolded for racism and told it’s the bad whites fault.

    • Unlike you it seems I don’t need to shut up as I have nothing racist to say. What is it that you want to publicly say that you feel that you cannot? Like honestly, you can say almost anything as long as you provide evidence; you are falling for the Andrew Bolt thing – the only reason he lost the case was because he actively ignored evidence.

      So please do tell me what it is that you feel you are restricted from saying.

    • What Dylan Asmus is saying is the truth, Aborigines are treated different to the rest of us, based on a bullshit racial superiority first people argument. You say different in public you would be called a racist. This is not free speech and does not pressure them into making some long over due life style changes – none live totally in the traditional way anymore.

    • Mathew Norton Norton I don’t know where you are living buddy but %90 of the aborigines I see are clearly not living in superiority; instead they are absolutely dirt poor and completely dispossessed and pushed to the margins of society. No one – ever – argues for improved treatment because they are racially superior but instead because they were pushed down so hard that they need support to be brought to the standard of everyone else.

      If you say that they get treated because they are regarded as superior in public you only demonstrate how uncouthly ignorant you are and cast aspersions based on race which are demonstrably incorrect.

      Finally, please do tell us here what it is you want to say that you are not allowed to say in public?

    • Dylan writes “Also note how those laws don’t apply to insulting whites.”…. the law doesn’t mention white, brown, black, green, or purple. It is a generic application and applies to everyone equally. And Matthew…. nah you wouldn’t understand so I won’t waste my time.

  24. Repeal the Racial Discrimination Act would be a far better outcome. This was Fraser’s gift to Gough. They both deserved each other. We deserved neither.

  25. BEWARE ALL- 18c Has nothing to do with “offence” is is about silencing criticism of “all sorts Groups & folks” ….& they well may be doing evil…it’s all about intimidating people from speaking out….. Who want’s to be prosecuted for an opinion?

  26. of course free speech is a basic in our country, but if it clashes with politicians and what they want, then they will move heaven and earth to suppress it. I wonder what this little lot is costing the taxpayer, are we paying to be muzzled ?

  27. NWA ,good band ,Niggas with attitude , can i get put in jail ,being a white person going around calling black people niggas or is that only something black people can do? Its now common slang word , is it still as powerful?

  28. The only people who want 18C repealed appears to be those who want the freedom to piss other people off.

    • You can’t have freedom of speech if you don’t have the freedom to be offended.

    • Toby Zuijdveld Are those that advocate changes to 18c prepared to accept the consequences of their actions. The offended person then has the right to retaliate and the original action may be used as a mitigation for using a physical response

    • Words shouldn’t be illegal. That’s different to using physical force isn’t it Keith?

    • Ben Stivala No, the point I was making was that physical force may be found legally acceptable too, or at least be mitigated by the degree of offence that the words caused. By removing 18C you are opening a real can of worms. You need to think through the effects of changes before supporting them.

    • Words shouldn’t be illegal! I agree Ben. I can’t wait to have the freedom of speech. Nothing funnier than phoning in a bomb hoax at the airport or threatening to burn my neighbours house down whenever he plays Nikky Webster’s ‘Strawberry Kisses’. If I do get in trouble, it would be awesome to plead not guilty, defend my ‘right’ to ‘free speech’, say whatever I want in the witness box as there won’t be any perjury or contempt of court laws (they currently curtail my free speech) Then on the train not the way home I will be free to tell every pensioner I see that they are F*#*&g C#@ts and they won’t feel offended or threatened as they are only words that are no longer illegal. Once I get home, I’ll start a KKK type Facebook group, and then start sprouting whatever the hell I want about anyone I hate and never have to worry about the consequences because speech will be free, defamation laws won’t apply, and 18C will not be there to protect anyone. Yep, truely free speech will be a well thought out result for all Australians.

  29. When someone says something I disagree with, I debate them.
    I don’t try to ban their right to say it.
    Banning free speech is never good. No matter who it’s for.
    Even “Hate speech” should be legal, if still frowned upon.

    • Problem is you try to debate someone who believes they have a right to hate speech and all they will do is shout it at you.

    • Then let them make fools of themselves. I still don’t think that is cause to make their opinions illegal to express.

    • Andrew what happens when someone forms the opinion, and states as much as they can, that you enjoy sex with shaved goats on a regular basis?
      This opinion is stated so often and widely that your volunteer work at the animal shelter is cancelled and you are worried about your safety as there is a fair bit of hate generated in the community against you? Would you still like defamation laws to protect you? If you answer is “Yes” then you are a hypocrite because history has shown us over and over that hate speech has the power to affect peoples lives in the same way. Hate speech spawns hate crimes. Give Lulu a kiss for me. XXX

    • You haven’t explained how I am a hypocrite. Hate speech is permitted, and frequently used against my kind, and I absolutely think it should be legal. I don’t care who the hate speech is directed towards, whether to me, or my greatest enemy, it should never be illegal.

  30. You make a good point with it being ineffective, very few cases have ever been brought. But why be concerned with this law which with section 18D takes a huge amount to trigger liable and security legislation are both much more dangerous to free speech and both also punish by process to a greater extent.

  31. You can say what you like. You just can’t do what you like. If you think homosexuals are evil fine, but you can’t go around convincing people to beat up homosexuals.

  32. Easy enough, just apply to people who want to keep it.

  33. The amount of beyond the pale vile bigotry we see directed at Muslims on the Internet shows the need for 18c. Unfortunately, 18c does not provide protection for people for their religious beliefs. Maybe it should.

    • If someone says something you don’t like, debate them. Don’t get the government to use force against them to silence them.

  34. Anything Cory Bernardi supports I am against. Right wing Bigot He is !!!!

    • what is a right wing bigot? hitler called people a bigot. right wing meaning anti communist and a bigot, mmmmm strange thing to say unless your a Nazi party member, or you come from some green side of town..

    • Cory Bernardi =Right wing Bigot . Simple.Even You should understand that !!!!!

  35. Racial discrimination act should be thrown in the bin

  36. Send Triggs home to Canada and start again.

  37. You are all fuckwits, how’s that for free speech.

  38. wait for the reaction to the repeal of 18c. freedom of speech. freedom to say allsorts of things cunningly disguised as comment by the likes of Bernardi, Hansen, and Bolt. there is still protection in the Law after repeal. absolute rubbish. division means being part of the problem. their desire is to create division in society.

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