Senate debates

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers

Racial Discrimination Act 1975

3:28 pm

Photo of Richard ColbeckRichard Colbeck (Tasmania, Liberal Party, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture) Share this | Hansard source

They do, Senator. They do have the right to be what they want to be—and the community has the right, and should have the right, to decry that. And they should decry that. I am happy to condemn that sort of speech as much as anyone on that side of the chamber. But we are about providing the opportunity for people to speak freely. That is an important part of any community. It is not up to us to tell people what to think or what to say. That is what the Labor Party seek to do. They seek to control what people might want to be, want to think or want to say. You cannot do that. Yes, put parameters around it—which is what the draft seeks to do.

Importantly, however, the exposure draft gives the community the opportunity to be part of the discussion. As I have said, members of my party who have had concerns about where this might go have expressed their appreciation of the process that Senator Brandis has put in place. (Time expired)


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