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The Australian Christian Lobby welcomes Mark Latham MLC’s bill strengthening the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board complaint handling process.

Mr Latham’s amendments would compel the President of the Board to decline vexatious claims or claims against people with cognitive impairment. In making determinations about vexatious claims, the President will be required to consider the number of complaints lodged by the complainant and whether the subject matter of the dispute has been resolved elsewhere.

The Anti-Discrimination Board has long been the body of choice for frivolous, vexatious and malicious complaints because of its lack of rigour in rejecting complaints.

“Mr Latham’s bill is an overdue improvement to the complaints process,” ACL NSW Director Kieren Jackson said today, “for too long, complaints have been able to use the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to satisfy their personal vendetta or political motives with the complainant bearing no personal cost to do so. It’s little wonder it has been abused by serial litigants.

“A system that can be used to bankrupt people to satisfy a personal vendetta, political obsession or feed an activist ego is not a fair or just system” Mr Jackson added, “The process can be used as a weapon to silence opponents with the complaint handling criteria inviting political activists to punish ideological opponents."

“Citizens of NSW will welcome Mark Latham’s amendments which will ensure only cases of genuine discrimination are heard by the Board.”

“ACL calls on the government to support Mark Latham’s bill so that the Anti-Discrimination Act can be a remedy against discrimination rather than a platform for political activists,” Mr Jackson said.

ENDS