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News Article

Groundhog Day for bill of rights
Friday, July 22, 2016

MPs keep coming up with the same failed ideas  – rather like the famous movie!


As the Queensland government push for a bill of rights continues, wiser heads are pointing out the flaws.

“Labor governments – from Whitlam in 1973 to Hawke in 1985 to Rudd in 2008 – often make such proposals.  Fortunately, most have been knocked back so far – for good reason,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today.

“Former Labor leader Bob Carr has regularly noted the failure of rights legislation to achieve justice.

“He tells how the UK Charter of Rights has prevented police from arresting gypsies who tore down a fence and occupied a factory area.  The police said they could not breach the gypsies’ ‘human rights’.

“Canadian judges interpreted their charter of rights to quash a government incentive scheme to encourage doctors to work in rural areas.  The judges said the scheme breached ‘freedom of movement’.  As a result, rural Canadians still lack adequate medical care.

“Bob Carr said our rights are best protected, not by a bill or charter, but by common law, parliamentary democracy and freedom of speech.  ‘Ben Chifley used to say, If you don’t like us, you can throw us out – but you can’t do that with judges!’ he said.”

Ros Phillips said Queensland Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk should take note of Bob Carr’s wisdom and experience.


  • Government and society

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