A NSW LGBT vilification complaint against Brisbane mother of four Katrina Tait illustrates how everyday Australians are at risk for their social media comments, due to a flawed NSW complaints handling system.
Mark Latham MLC introduced a motion this afternoon in state parliament highlighting serious flaws with the NSW Anti-discrimination Board’s handling of cases.
“Mrs Tait – a Queensland resident – supported an ACL petition against the Brisbane City Council’s January decision to support drag queen story time,” said ACL state director Kieren Jackson. “The NSW Anti-Discrimination Board accepted the complaint despite the fact the complainant lives in NSW and is known for lodging numerous complaints against people outside the state.”
Mrs Tait’s case has emerged in the context of a parliamentary inquiry into a bill designed to ensure that unmeritorious cases are rejected at the earliest opportunity. ACL made a submission to the inquiry and ACL Legal Counsel Christopher Brohier appeared before the inquiry last week.
“The Hon. Mr Latham’s reform bill seeks to compel the Board President to reject complaints where the President is of the opinion that the complaint, or part of the complaint, is frivolous, vexatious, misconceived or lacking in substance,” Mr Jackson continued. “There is a history of cases dealt with by the Anti-discrimination Board that raise serious doubt over how the Board handles such matters.”
“Ineffective gatekeeping means that voices are silenced, innocent people are subjected to stress, pressure and financial burdens, and bad precedent is made.”
“The ACL welcomes the Hon. Mark Latham’s efforts to address this issue. We call on the NSW Attorney General to get behind the reform.”