Preliminary Submission to WA Equal Opportunity Act Review

In late 2018 the WA Attorney-General announced that the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia would undertake a review of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA).

Following the release of the Term of Reference and an invitation to make a brief initial response in 2019 the process has largely been on hold.

The Commission has recommenced the process and CSA received an invitation to make a preliminary submission last week, prior to a proposed discussion paper being circulated later in the year.

Earlier today we lodged a preliminary submission which –

  • Questioned the need to a stand-alone state-based jurisdiction;
  • Recommended the amendment of the objects and interpretative provisions (and provided proposed drafting);
  • Raised concerns about the inclusion of ‘gender identity’ as a protected ground;
  • Provided an expanded definition of religious belief and activities to better protect religious freedom;
  • Proposed a re-definition of ‘discrimination’ that aligns more with international law and best practice;
  • Noted the need to carefully definition vilification provisions to protect free speech;
  • Included an alternative approach to ‘balancing provisions’ if the revised definition of discrimination is not adopted; and
  • Advocated for greater filtering of vexatious or activist complaints.

A copy of the submission can be downloaded below –