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AGAINST – Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Respect at Work) Bill 2022 - Consideration in Detail - Objects of bill

The majority voted in favour of disagreeing with amendments introduced by Warringah MP Zali Steggall (Independent), which means they failed and won't be included in the bill.


Bass MP Bridget Archer (Liberal) crossed the floor to vote 'No' in this division while the rest of her party voted "Yes". This means that Ms Archer supported these amendments.

What did the amendments do?

Ms Steggall explained that:

There are two components to the amendment that I have circulated. It's a simple amendment to the drafting of the objects of the Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Respect at Work) Bill 2022. What's important in the first part of this amendment is that it's consistent with recommendation 16a of the Respect@Work report. This amendment omits the 'so far as practicable' from the objects. This is necessary because the current wording introduces a lower standard than is proposed in recommendation 16 of the Respect@Work report. It's inconsistent with several other objects contained in section 3 of the Sex Discrimination Act, which sets a higher standard. It may give rise to the implication that rights codified in the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women will only be protected domestically to the extent that it is practicable to do so.

In relation to the second part of the amendment, it is about changing the language used. The objects as drafted by the government in the bill refer to men and women specifically. We need to start moving to gender neutral language. Legislation in this place needs to start embracing the future and younger generations, who are not defined by gender language. In line with the Commonwealth Latimer House principles, gender neutral language should be used in the drafting and use of legislation.

Amendment text

(1) Schedule 8, item 2, page 44 (lines 9 and 10), omit the item, substitute:

2 Paragraph 3(e)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

(e) to achieve substantive equality for everyone, irrespective of gender or sexual orientation.


Date and time: 4:43 PM on 2022-11-07
Allegra Spender's vote: No
Total number of "aye" votes: 63
Total number of "no" votes: 14
Total number of abstentions: 74
Related bill: Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Respect at Work) Bill 2022

Adapted from information made available by

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