Party leaders must protect our hard-won freedoms

Updated April 19 2022 - 7:15am, first published 5:00am
Don't take our freedoms for granted
Don't take our freedoms for granted

The commemoration of Anzac Day on Monday is an indelible reminder of the sacrifice of thousands of Australians who gave their lives to preserve the freedoms that too many today take for granted.

To acquiesce and not defend those freedoms, when challenged, is tantamount to sullying the memory of those Diggers. Yet we are sitting idly by as freedom of speech is being eroded, barely raising a whimper.

This has been the corrosive effect of political correctness by which speech is censored so as not to cause offence, with many times truth and objectivity being the first casualty.

This unacceptable position has been backed up by legislation, such as sections of the federal Racial Discrimination Act. Not that anyone condones vilification, however, the Act as it currently stands, sets such a low bar that "causing offence" to a party is the test for a breach of law.

This position has filtered through to tribunals and bodies like the Australian Press Council, which is fielding complaints based not on the veracity of a report, but on its potential to offend.

We are in a similar position with religious freedoms, which are under threat because of conflicting rights caused, oddly, by changes to the Anti-Discrimination Act. It is time for the major parties to re-asses their positions on protecting these two vital freedoms.


Ian Moore