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 –