April 29, 2016

Another day, another example of the Turnbull Government following Labor’s lead on an important policy issue.


Just minutes after Labor announced its intention to reinstate a full-time Disability Discrimination Commissioner, the Government told the ABC that it will do the same thing.


Less than 24 hours ago, a spokesman for Attorney-General George Brandis told the Guardian no decision had been made about the division of roles between the Human Rights Commissioner, Disability Discrimination Commissioner and Age Discrimination Commissioner roles. Now, suddenly, a decision has been made to reinstate all three as full-time positions today.


While Labor welcomes the Government finally coming to its senses after its shameful sacking of Graeme Innes in July 2014, it shouldn’t have taken a Labor announcement to shock them into action. That sacking, to make room for Liberal appointee Tim Wilson, should never have happened.


The priorities of the Liberals are clear. They appointed a ‘Freedom Commissioner’ and a Wind Farm Commissioner while sacking the Disability Discrimination Commissioner.


The Liberal Government’s mistreatment of the Human Rights Commission and its President Gillian Triggs was one of the lowest points of the last three years. Australians were shocked and ashamed – and the Senate took the extraordinary step of censuring Senator Brandis for his appalling behaviour.


The rights of vulnerable Australians must no longer be treated as a political plaything of Senator Brandis and the right-wing of the Liberal Party.


Labor is proud that it continues to set the political agenda and lead the Government on key policy areas. Labor will always put people first.


Thursday, 28th April 2016


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