The Queensland Government’s new Criminal Code (Serious Vilification and Hate Crimes) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 is a direct attack on freedom of speech and expression.
The Bill was introduced by then Attorney General, Shannon Fentiman, on the 29th March 2023, and if passed could mean people who post a statement or symbol on social media are liable for up to up to three years’ imprisonment if found guilty of serious vilification or hate crime. The Bill fails to clearly define what ‘serious vilification’ or ‘hate crimes’ are, and this uncertainty creates a dangerous situation for all public speech, including social media.
This Bill is heavy handed and does not belong in a society that values freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
There are three ways you can take action today:
- Sign the ePetition posted at https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/Work-of-the-Assembly/Petitions/Petition-Details?id=3928
- Write to and perhaps visit your local Member of Parliament. Contact details of MPs can be found at https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/Members/Current-Members/Member-List
- Using the form, please write your email to the Premier, the Attorney General, the Leader of the Opposition, the Shadow Attorney General, and your local Member of Parliament.