return our free speech now …

The repeal of Section 18C has hit turbulence,, which means, as pointed out by the IPA, that hate speech cannot be countered or condemned, in case it may be perceived as racially motivated. James Paterson, from the IPA writes:


The IPA doesn’t need to advertise in The Saturday Paper to get prominent coverage. But it was very nice of them to ring me yesterday to offer! They called after they saw the IPA was fundraising to publish this statement in The Australian on Friday:

As The Age reports today, fundraising is going well. But there’s still time to make a donation – click here to add your support.

The Abbott government’s abandonment of its promise to restore free speech is a great time to revisit the video of Mark Steyn’s brilliant 10-minute demolition of the right not to be offended. On Tuesday afternoon the IPA issued this media release on why the decision is so disappointing. That night IPA Executive Director John Roskam sent this note to IPA members to explain why the IPA will never give up fighting for free speech. And as Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson said on ABC News Breakfast yesterday, section 18C must still be repealed.

In The Sydney Morning Herald in September 2012 the IPA’s Chris Berg explained why Nicola Roxon’s plan to introduce mandatory internet data retention was such a dangerous idea. Now that it has been taken up by the Abbott government…it’s still a terrible idea, as Chris argued on Tuesday.

It’s great to be joined in this fight by the Greens, who are concerned about protecting “our hard-won and precious freedoms”, and Bill Shorten, who is worried about the “rights of individuals…being intruded on by Big Brother.” It’s just a shame they weren’t so troubled about rights or freedoms when it came to free speech and section 18C.

Sadly data retention is not the only looming danger to the online freedoms of Australians. As Chris Berg and Simon Breheny explained in their important new report last week, the Coalition’s proposed eSafety Commissioner is another serious threat to free speech.

The 2014 Institute of Public Affairs HV McKay Lecture & Dinner will be delivered by Robert Bryce from the Manhattan Institute in Melbourne on Tuesday 9 September. Bryce will be speaking on the topic of “The Energy of Human Flourishing: Liberty, Innovation, and Progress”. Tickets are $140 for IPA members, $190 for non-members and $60 for people aged 25 or younger – book online here.

In Brisbane on Wednesday 20 August the Economic Society of Australia is hosting Dan Mitchell from the Cato Institute for a discussion on international tax competition – more information is available here.

In Melbourne on Monday 25 August the HR Nicholls Society is holding a free public event on reforming the construction industry with Victorian Minister for Industrial Relations, Robert Clark – full details available here.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley)
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