New law banning religious vilification passes NSW Parliament

Hindu Council of Australia welcomes the bill passed by the NSW Parliament. We are thankful to the state government especially Attorney General and Minister Kamper for giving Hindu Council an opportunity to help shape the bill. Surinder Jain, National Vice President and Ash Agarwal, National Legal Counsel of Hindu Council of Australia had provided suggestions that have been incorporated in the bill. 


Attorney General 

Minister Kamper 

Thursday 3 August 2023

Landmark legislation to prohibit religious vilification passed NSW Parliament today.

The amendment to the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 makes it unlawful to, “by a public act, incite hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of, a person or group of persons, because of their religious belief, affiliation or activity”.

A “public act” includes any form of communication to the public, verbal and non-verbal.

The legislation mirrors existing provisions in the Anti-Discrimination Act that make vilification unlawful on the grounds of race, homosexuality, transgender status and HIV/AIDS status.

People who do not have a religious belief or affiliation or do not engage in religious activity are also protected under the new law, which recognises that these are also positions in relation to religion which should be respected.

A wide range of stakeholders were consulted on the amendment, including faith-based organisations, community groups, multicultural associations, legal advocates and NSW Government agencies.

The new law comes into effect three months after the date of assent to the Act.

NSW Attorney General Michael Daley said:

“We are lucky to live in a harmonious society that values respect, tolerance and inclusivity.

“Vilification on the grounds of a person’s religion (or no belief) is completely unacceptable in our community. Now we have a clear law to protect people from public actions that incite hatred or serious contempt or severe ridicule of them on the basis of their religious belief or lack of belief.”

NSW Minister for Multiculturalism Steve Kamper said:

“NSW is one of the most successful multicultural states in the world. Our vibrant multicultural and multi-faith communities enrich our society.

“It is regrettable to see any expression of vilification towards certain groups based on their beliefs.

“This legislation sends a strong message to those people who seek to stir hatred and division in our community. It won’t be tolerated.”

End Media release

Hindu Council of Australia was consulted in framing this law and proudly supports the passing of this bill.

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