Proposed amendments to the Criminal Code Act of 1995 will make it impossible for media organisations to accurately report on what governments do behind closed doors, writes Jacob Andrewartha.
HUman Rights Commission
According to an Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) tweet, between August 8 and 22 the electoral roll increased by 54,545.
There were 577,879 total enrolment transactions processed in that time, including checking and updating enrolment details. This data does not include the last two days of the enrolment period, which closed at midnight on August 24, so these numbers are likely to increase.
You'll all be familiar with the stories about lazy dole bludgers that the commercial media roll out a few days before the federal government announces another cut to welfare payments.
In fact, there is a massive reservoir of people unemployed or underemployed who are desperate for work. This includes people with a disability.
Australia has some of the highest rates of poverty and lowest rates of workforce participation for people with a disability in the developed world.
Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act — Australia’s federal hate speech law — has tended to dominate public debate about free speech for the past few years. This has meant other important laws that restrict free speech in broad ways are being overlooked.
While the 18C debate has raged, important new restrictions on freedom of speech have been introduced in Australia. These have flown much further under the radar. These restrictions should concern us, because they have a wide-ranging impact on the freedom of speech that is essential to democratic deliberation.