Shepparton's multicultural community groups are looking for people to sign an open letter that objects to proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.JOHN LEWIS April 9, 2014 3:10am
Chris Hazelman, Deirdre Robertson and Bobby Nichols are against changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.
Members of Shepparton Aboriginal reconciliation and multicultural groups are calling for community support in opposing proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.
Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District manager Chris Hazelman said an open letter had been drafted asking the Federal Goverment to abandon its plan to repeal section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, which currently makes it unlawful for a person to publicly ‘‘offend, insult or humiliate’’ a person or a group of people based on their race.
Mr Hazleman said the letter would be circulated among Shepparton community groups and signatures gathered, before being sent to politicians and government leaders.
Mr Hazelman said the repeal could mean a resurgence of intolerance in public discussion.
‘‘The views we don’t want to see may be alive on social media, but they have slowly disappeared from mainstream media. This means they will once again be given free rein in the mainstream,’’ Mr Hazelman said.
Shepparton Region Reconciliation Group co-convenor Bobby Nicholls said the change would be a retrograde step.
‘‘As an Aboriginal person, this will put us back to beyond the 1967 referendum,’’ Mr Nicholls said. ‘‘If we allow this to happen it will create an open licence to attack not just Aboriginal people, but all our multicultural residents.’’
Fellow co-convenor Deirdre Robertson said such a change would have wide implications.
‘‘It comes down to what kind of society do we want to live in? We should be working towards a more cohesive society,’’ Mrs Robertson said.
The letter, which will be sent to political leaders in federal and state governments, cites figures from the Australian Human Rights Commission, VicHealth and a Greater Shepparton Localities Embracing and Accepting Diversity survey showing substantial rises in complaints of racism.
The letter, in part, states: ‘‘It is extremely concerning that the Australian Government would be considering any move that will weaken legislative protections against racism, particularly given recent findings of racism in our community.’’
Benalla police are appealing for anyone with information about the theft of a Country Fire Authority radio valued at 4000 to contact them.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
Level crossing upgrades to the Echuca-Bendigo line may be completed next month.
Julie Sands and Sheridan Clark have been kept busy, visiting Rochester recently yo dispense free coats to residents.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram supermarket seeks $10 million expansion, increasing by about a third into adjacent car park area.
Public interest to determine Deniliquin Town Hall refurbishment.
Milk co-operative, Murray Goulburn has posted a record financial result, recording an after tax profit of $29 million.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.