SYDNEY: The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia) has joined with over 20 ethnic, indigenous and other community organisations to issue a statement urging the NSW State Government to honour its public commitment to overhaul the state’s race-hate legislation.
Section 20D of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act has proven to be completely ineffective as not one person has been charged since the law was introduced over 15 years ago. As a result, NSW has seen people who have been inciting racially motivated attacks towards different ethnicities and indigenous Australians get away with their crimes and not be charged for their wrongdoings.
The message from these community leaders is that “the race hate has to stop” and that there should be no more attacks on people on the grounds of ethnicity.
The Keep NSW Safe coalition of communities is calling on every member of the Armenian community to have their voices heard by visiting www.keepnswsafe.com, to enter their name and postcode, which will allow community members to send a letter to their State MP and the Premier, urging the NSW Government to reform the legislation.
It is important that you support the #KeepNSWSafe campaign, because it is an issue that affects and concerns us all.
ANC Australia encourages community members to like and share the Keep NSW Safe Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KeepNSWSafe/
We, the undersigned, urge the NSW Government to enact legislation immediately which will keep our communities, and all people of New South Wales, safe from those who promote racist violence.
It has been proven time and again that the current law is weak and ineffective, and does not deter the promotion of violence against other Australians on the basis of their race, colour, descent or national, ethnic or ethno-religious origin.
The NSW Government has acknowledged this failure. The current law does not effectively reach those who set out to promote racist violence.
Our government needs to act now, before we again see serious racist violence committed in NSW that could otherwise have been prevented. Extremists who light the fuse of racist violence should be liable to arrest, prosecution and, if convicted, punishment.
In 2015 the NSW State Government made a public commitment that it would introduce legislation in the first half of 2016 which would fix the failures of the current law. We are disappointed that that commitment has not yet been honoured.
This is not about freedom of speech; it’s about promotion of violence.
Merely paying lip-service to communal harmony is not good enough. Our government must instead act to preserve our peaceful way of life by changing the law to protect communities from the promotion of violence.
We urge the NSW Government to honour its commitment without further delay.
– Anooshe Mushtaq, Counter Terrorism and Countering Violent Extremism Research Fellow at Info Ops Headquarters
– Armenian National Committee of Australia
– Assyrian Australian National Federation
– Australian Egyptian Council Forum
– Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations
– Australian Hellenic Council of NSW
– Australian Kurdistan Veteran (Peshmerga) Association
– Australian South Sea Islanders (Port Jackson)
– Basmala Australia Inc
– Chinese Australian Forum
– Chinese Australian Services Society LTD
– Federation of Indian Associations of NSW
– Hindu Council of Australia
– Indian Crescent Society of Australia
– International Coptic Union
– Korean Garden Task Force Committee
– Korean Society of Sydney
– National Sikh Council of Australia
– NSW Council of Christians and Jews
– NSW Council for Pacific Communities
– NSW Jewish Board of Deputies
– Philippine Community Council of NSW, Inc.
– South Asia Study Group, University of Sydney
– Vietnamese Community in Australia – NSW Chapter
– Nyunggai Warren Mundine AO, Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council