Australian Bill of Rights
Australian Bill of Rights
Australia is the only democracy in the world that does not protect free speech, freedom of religion and freedom of the press through a Bill of Rights or a Charter.
Currently, our freedoms are offset in a myriad of government policies within certain legislative instruments such as the Fair Work Act, the various states Human Rights Acts, etc.
These can be open to interpretation and therefore can be non-binding.
A Bill of Rights should set this out as a formal declaration of the legal, political and civil rights of all Australian citizens and also should also sit as a preamble to the Australian Constitution. The Australian Constitution does not currently have a preamble.
A Bill of Rights amendment to the Constitution would provide guarantees of personal freedoms and rights, clear limitations on the government's power in judicial and other proceedings, and explicit declarations that all powers not specifically granted to the Australian Parliament by the Constitution are reserved for the states or by the rule of the people.
Recent Australian Federal Police raids on another government instrumentality (ABC) and journalists homes have highlighted the need for an Australian Bill of Rights. A free press is fundamental to ensuring that the Australian people are aware of what our governments do in our name.
The Australian government has said that it did not sanction the Australian Federal Police raids.
If so, we have an instrument of government, in this case, the Australian Federal Police, breaking a long-held understanding of the right of citizens to come forward to highlight infractions of government agencies.
It is therefore in the interest of ALL Australians, including our elected representatives that the Australian government delivers a surety that our government remains open, transparent and accountable to the people along with an assurance that government instrumentalities cannot override long-held freedoms due to said freedoms not being enshrined within our Constitution.
The Bill of Rights should recognise the distinct rights and perspectives of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as First Australians, recognising their culture, history, diversity and their deep connection to the land. Consideration should also be given to the feasibility of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
We ask that this Bill of Rights is prepared, debated and voted on over the current term of parliament and the proposal then submitted in a referendum to the voters before or during the next election cycle.
We, the Australian people, petition the Australian Government to implement an Australian Bill of Rights to enshrine the protection of citizens rights within the Australian Constitution.
As an end note: If you don't share this petition, we will not get the traction needed to result in constitutional change.