The Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (VGLRL) has raised concerns over the future of Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act, which is currently under parliamentary review.
Although public submissions to the inquiry are still open, VGLRL convenor Sarah Rogan said Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark has made his opposition clear.
“Robert Clark has longstanding difficulties with the charter,” Rogan told the Star Observer.
“He doesn’t really see it’s entirely necessary and to have an Attorney-General who doesn’t see the importance of a charter is worrying.
“It’s up to the groups in society who are affected by the good running of the charter to make submissions to the inquiry.
Clark told The Australian newspaper in December the charter “cannot continue in its present form.”
“It is not an effective tool for delivering rights across the board,” he said.
“It runs the risk of delivering inappropriate outcomes because it is couched in broad and sweeping terms that are open to interpretation.”
The charter — put in place to ensure laws do not breach human rights — is being reviewed as part of a four-year review, as set out by the Act.
Some in the GLBT community fear the charter may be watered down or abolished altogether reducing safeguards against discriminatory laws being put in place.
Fears have been fanned following the Baillieu Government’s move to reverse former Brumby Government Equal Opportunity legislation that would make it harder for religious organisations to discriminate against GLBT people – some concerned the Government has little sympathy for GLBT issues.
ALSO Foundation CEO Crusader Hillis said queries into the continuation of the Attorney-General’s Ministerial Advisory Committee on GLBTI issues have not been answered.
“We’ve heard nothing since the election,” Hillis said.
Submissions close on July 1.