May 16, 2014

The Abbott Government’s decision to appoint Tim Wilson as a Human Rights Commissioner has come at the expense of Australia’s first full time Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes AM.

This week’s Budget announced a cut of one full time Commissioner from the Human Rights Commission following the next vacancy in July.

“Senator Brandis couldn’t come clean in December about his intention to sack one of the existing Commissioners in order to accommodate his appointment of Tim Wilson,” Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said.

“We now know the Government had no intention of increasing funds for the Human Rights Commission to cover Mr Wilson’s appointment.

“In Opposition Senator Brandis was prepared to publicly criticise Mr Innes for advocating on behalf of Australians with a disability. At the time he blamed the “ideological culture” within the Human Rights Commission.

“To add insult to injury this Government will return to the same number of Commissioners before Mr Wilson joined the Commission, and cut $1.7 million from the Human Rights Commission budget.”

“Graeme Innes, Australia’s first ever full time Disability Discrimination Commissioner has done an outstanding job under both Liberal and Labor Governments,” Shadow Minister for Disability Reform Jenny Macklin said.

“Mr Innes has been an extremely powerful advocate for people with disability, working hard every day to ensure that people with disability have access to the same rights and opportunities as all Australians,” Jenny Macklin said.

Labor thanks Graeme Innes for the remarkable work he has done at the Australian Human Rights Commission over the last decade.

FRIDAY, 16 MAY 2014

Download PDF