Letter to The Editor - Tweaking Triggs’ accolades

The article, “Triggs’ one important contribution to human rights” by Greg Walsh (News Weekly, August 26, 2017), is objectionable for a number of reasons.

1. The so-called Anti-Discrimination Act is rotten to the core. Is it necessary to recite the shocking cases of Andrew Bolt, the Queensland University of Technology students, the late Bill Leak and the memorial to the Japanese sex-slave women?

How dare self-important bureaucrats and ideologues bully these innocent people! Such corrupt legislation can never bear good fruit. The act is a threat to Australian values.

2. The demands made under the legislation that students pay thousands of dollars to avoid life-ruining prosecution seems to me to be indistinguishable from extortion.

3. I dispute the claim the legislation has played an important role in resolving “thousands of cases”. I believe this is absurd. Further, there are remedies for damaging discrimination already in place in Tort, Industrial and Trade Union Law, Consumer Protection Law etc.

4. The claim that the act has led to “reviewing the treatment of women in the military”, if true, is nothing to be proud of. It is desperately important that in the military at least women (and men) should not be promoted to fill some anti-discrimination quota, but wholly and solely on the grounds of ability, including, for example, upper-body strength. Not only lives but national security may depend on this.

5. Further, governments of both parties have flagrantly ignored the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in the wholly disgraceful instance of compulsory student unionism. Commissar Triggs failed to act in an instance in which intervention to safeguard rights – the right of free association – would have been worthwhile.

Hal G. P. Colebatch, LLB PhD
Nedlands, WA

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