History has been made with the Palaszczuk Government’s Human Rights Bill passing the Queensland Parliament today. Queensland now joins Victoria and the ACT as the third Australian jurisdiction with a Human Rights Act or Charter.
Executive Director of the Human Rights Law Centre, Hugh de Kretser, said the Queensland law is the broadest and most accessible Human Rights Act or Charter in Australia.
"This is a fantastic day for all Queenslanders, and particularly those experiencing disadvantage, who will now have their human rights better protected in law," said Mr de Kretser.
"The Human Rights Act is about ensuring that the values we all hold dear – like fairness, equality, respect and compassion – are reflected in laws, policy and services. The legislation will require the Queensland Government to properly consider and comply with human rights and it will give people and communities the power to hold government to account if it doesn’t," said Mr de Kretser.
The legislation protects 23 human rights including freedom of association, freedom of expression, the right to humane treatment in detention and the right to education. It establishes an accessible mediation service in a rebranded and expanded Queensland Human Rights Commission.
"The Palaszczuk Government has shown great leadership and conviction in seeing this important reform through. Leaders in other states and at the national level should take note because this is a win-win situation. Human rights laws help governments because they put people at the heart of government decision-making and action. They help to build better, fairer communities for all," said Mr de Kretser.
Mr de Kretser congratulated the Queensland coalition of more than 40 community organisations that have been pushing for this reform since 2015.
"Today’s big win shows what can be achieved when people come together to stand up for what they believe in and to help create the kind of community they want to live in. Democracy is not a spectator sport, it’s something that’s improved by more participation," said Mr de Kretser.
For more information or comments, please contact:
Tom Clarke, Director of Campaigns, Human Rights Law Centre, 0422 545 763