“for we are young and free” – (Australian Anthem) – BUT, ARE WE “FREE”?


Hopefully there is freedom to copy this on my blog.

As is stated, a must read for all Australians concerned about our future!

26 February 2013Welcome to FreedomWatch, a regular email on threats to freedom of speech and personal liberty.Must read piece on how 8 new laws removed our right to silence in 2012

This important report in The Age today is a must read. It picks up the IPA’s concern about the increasing coercive powers of government regulators – who are sometimes given even more power than the police. The report also covers new IPA research that has demonstrated the right to silence was removed by eight pieces of legislation passed in 2012 alone.

Thanks to the support of IPA members, the erosion of our fundamental legal rights is generating the interest it deserves.

The Australian Human Rights Commission‘s failure to defend freedom of speech

Last week, the IPA’s Tim Wilson appeared on ABC’s The Drum program, where he condemned Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick for the Australian Human Rights Commission’s failure to defend freedom of speech. You can watch Tim here:

And the IPA’s Simon Breheny recently debated the president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, on Channel 7’s Weekend Sunrise program, criticising the taxpayer-funded commission for leading the charge in trying to restrict free speech. Watch the debate here:

The commission’s failure to defend freedom of speech is why we’ve called for the complete abolition of the commission. Last week Simon argued in The Australian that if we can’t abolish the commission perhaps it could appoint freedom commissioners. The Senate committee inquiry into the Gillard government’s anti-discrimination draft bill reported last week. As Simon explained here, the committee’s recommendations fail to address the many fundamental problems in the draft bill.

And here’s the letter Simon wrote to the new Attorney General, Mark Dreyfus, asking him whether he would support the draft bill.

This might be why the shadow Attorney General George Brandis asked Gillian Triggs why the commission isn’t more like the IPA! Here’s what he said:

“Whereas your commission is a dedicated and committed advocate of anti-discrimination principles, I do not see the commission being a dedicated and committed advocate of freedom principles. You have think tanks, like in the Institute of Public Affairs, which has something called a ‘freedom project’. I do not see a freedom project in the Human Rights Commission.”

FreedomWatch would not be possible without the generous donors to the Freedom of Speech Fighting Fund we launched last year. We can’t do anything without the 2,639 members of the IPA. If you’d like to support our work, you can donate to the Fighting Fund here, or if you haven’t already done so, join the IPA at join.ipa.org.au.


Freedom fighters for the HRC Classification is censorship Nanny against free speech
How to fix the human rights commission. Read more We still have a government censor banning movies. Read more To public health activists, everything looks like an opportunity to regulate. Read more


Geert Wilders in AustraliaPublished 20 February 2013 by Chris BergOn 2UE I discussed Geert Wilders’ visit to Australia and what it meant for freedom of speech, and gave some comments to this important column in The Australian on the tour. And Simon Breheny debated this issue on 4BC with a member of the Trotskyist (yes, literally Trotskyist!) organisation Solidarity. In October I wrote about suggestions that Wilders might not even be granted a visa, and how Immigration Department bureaucrats appear to be putting people on visa alert lists simply for holding controversial opinions. Read more here.Hypocrisy and free speechPublished 25 February 2013 by James Paterson

The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Richard Ackland had a good article on Friday on press freedom and free speech. He correctly argued that it is very concerning courts are prepared to force journalists to divulge their sources. Yet it must be said that Ackland’s concern for free speech is highly selective. Let’s not forget this article he wrote following the Andrew Bolt case – in which a journalist was hauled to court for writing an article. And this is what Ackland had to say about press freedom following the Finkelstein review, which proposed massive increased regulation on the media. Read more here.

Unintended consequences, Coke and pizza edition

Published 25 February 2013 by Tim Wilson

One of the most cited, but frequently dismissed, criticisms of paternalistic regulation is that it leads to unintended consequences. Normally they are more principled, such as regulations discouraging individual responsibility and learning how to manage risk. As many people may be aware former Republican turned independent Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, is banning the sale of soft drinks larger than 16 ounces from 12 March 2013. For clarity 16 ounces is less than half a litre. Read more here.

No, Senator Xenophon, this is not about free speech

Published 12 February 2013 by Simon Breheny

There are many real threats to freedom of speech in Australia in 2013. But South Australian independent Senator Nick Xenophon sees threats to freedom of speech where there are none. He believes that broadcasters should have no choice over whether they run political ads during election campaigns. Read more here.

Institute of Public Affairs | freedomwatch.ipa.org.au

About Ken McMurtrie

Retired Electronics Engineer, most recently installing and maintaining medical X-Ray equipment. A mature age "student" of Life and Nature, an advocate of Truth, Justice and Humanity, promoting awareness of the injustices in the world.
This entry was posted in AUSTRALIA, Censorship, Civil Liberties, Human Behaviour, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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