Sydney (Tribune International); The Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, has announced that the Government
will not proceed with the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (the Act).
In a national message to the Australian people Tony Abbott said:
‘Over the last five months, the Government has undertaken a comprehensive process of community consultation. We wanted to hear from all stakeholders and all sections of the Australian community on this issue.’
‘We have listened to what you had to say and the Government will not repeal sections 18B, 18C, 18D and 18E of the Act. At a time when the threat to Australia from extremists is real and growing, we must focus on the things that unite us as Australians.’
‘Everyone needs to be part of ‘Team Australia’. The Government’s proposals to change section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act had become a needless complication.’
‘I don’t want to do anything that puts our national unity at risk at this time and so those proposals are now off the table. This is a call that I have made. It is a leadership call that I have made after discussion with the Cabinet today.’
‘In the end, leadership is about preserving national unity on the essentials and that is why I have taken this decision. Since 1788, Australia has been an immigrant society. Successive waves of newcomers eager for a better life have enriched our culture. We have found unity in our diversity and strength in our differences.’