Proposals from the Victorian government to dramatically expand the state’s anti-vilification laws are an unprecedented attack on freedom of speech according to the free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.
“This is the most vicious attack on freedom of speech on Australia’s in peacetime history,” said Morgan Begg, research fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs.
“The proposal would give vast powers to the human rights bureaucracy to regulate and censor the opinions of mainstream Australians.”
“Under the government’s proposals practically any expression of an opinion that someone disagreed with could be declared unlawful.”
‘Particularly alarming is the fact that a statement could be unlawful even if no-one was actually harmed by what was said. If someone could hypothetically be harmed by what was said that would be sufficient for the law to be broken.
“The Government plans to empower left-wing activist groups to enforce the law. ”
“These immoral proposals are nothing less than section 18C on steroids,” said Mr Begg.
The IPA’s submission to the Victorian parliament’s Inquiry into anti-vilification protections can be accessed here.