December 18, 2017

The high turnout and overwhelmingly positive result of Australia’s voluntary postal plebiscite on same sex marriage enabled our parliament to enact marriage equality laws with public approval. The people had spoken, and the support was clearer than if politicians had made the decision alone.  The parliament erupted with joy when the legislation passed.

However, there were concerns about the impact of the SSM bill on religious freedom. These persist. Attempts to modify the SSM bill to protect freedom of speech and religious beliefs got little support and amendments to the bill were voted down. O...

March 15, 2017

Dear Gillian    

I am sorry it has taken me a few days to respond to your request.  

Last week was a bit busy, what with the book launch and my unanticipated death.  

On reflection, I don’t think I could, in all good faith, publish a correction exonerating you for misleading the Senate.  

But Mr Whittaker has agreed to withdraw the cartoon depicting you with your pants on fire.    

Yours truly  

Bill

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Bill Leak died of a heart attack on March 10, 2017.

Two days earlier, launching his book Trig...

March 6, 2017

Last week the Liberal Party, and particularly its leader, opted out of debate.

Following the inquiry into the racial discrimination act, there was no attempt to explain the case and to argue for the abolition of 18C and the human rights commission.  In fact, some ministers argued that free speech was not a significant issue!

How on earth do they expect to make improvements to social policies if they cannot discuss issues for fear of offending someone?

Following the FWC recommendation on Sunday penalty rates, the Prime Minister said he supported the independence of the commission but fai...

December 18, 2016

Dan Andrews has issued a proclamation telling public servants that they should desist from heterogenic terms like husband and wife, or his and her.

Zie and Hir are his preferred words.

Public servants meeting Dan should click their heels, raise their right arm, salute palm outwards and say these two words together quickly. In the German tradition, if you get my drift.

One of the key characteristics of our Western Civilisation is that things evolve from the bottom up rather than being imposed from the top down. It is the basis of the common law that has served us so well.

Interestingly, it has cont...

December 12, 2016

On 8 November 2016, pursuant to the section 7(c) of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011, the Attorney-General referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights the following two matters for inquiry and report: whether the operation of Part IIA of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) (including sections 18C and 18D) impose unreasonable restrictions on freedom of speech; and whether the complaints-handling procedures of the Australian Human Rights Commission should be reformed.

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We live in one of...

November 13, 2016

Gillian Triggs has made an abject apology to Kyran Findlater, one of the seven QUT students subjected to a racial vilification case brought against him under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act over a Facebook post in May 2013.

Previously, on the 730 Report, 2016 Professor Triggs had explained to Leigh Sales that the Human Rights Commission had spent 14 months trying to conciliate between Miss Prior and the seven students. It turns out that this was not true. Mr Findlater was never involved in the conciliation process. The first thing he knew about it was a message from Miss Prior’s so...

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