"HUMAN RIGHTS IN QUEENSLAND MEDIA RELEASE “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE"
HUMAN RIGHTS IN QUEENSLAND MEDIA RELEASE “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” 11 FEBRUARY 2009 - FORUM TODAY QUEENSLAND CHARTER GROUP Eminent community leaders, human rights activists and Members of the Legislative Assembly will meet this Wednesday evening at Queensland Parliament House to discuss whether Queensland’s legislative treatment of the rights of its citizens is falling behind comparable neighbour states and nations. The Queensland Charter Group is hosting the forum, with speakers including Australian Human Rights Commissioner Mr Graeme Innes AM, The Honourable Matt Foley, Justice Roslyn Atkinson and Mr Simeon Beckett. Experts in the field of human rights, their contributions will scrutinise Queensland’s ongoing diffidence toward human rights, and the broader Australian momentum toward an Australian Human Rights Act. “Surprisingly for state that endured the excesses of the Joh Bjelke Petersen years Queensland have become complacent about their civil rights and consequently have fallen behind other states and nations with our astonishing indifference to the rights of our citizens”, said Michael Cope, President of the Queensland Council of Civil Liberties. “It is trite but true to say that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Sensible and prescient action today will be the premise of enduring freedom for the Queenslanders of tomorrow.” “It is now time for practical action to ensure that Queensland codifies what we all take for granted culturally.” “The interest and activity that the forthcoming forum has generated amongst community leaders is extremely promising and inspires hope that an appropriate legislative response will soon develop”, Michael Cope said. “We believe a human rights charter would protect the fundamental human rights Queenslanders take for granted.” The Queensland Charter Group welcomes the Australian Government’s commitment to a national enquiry into human rights. We call on the Queensland Government and all Queenslanders to get involved in this debate and express their human rights concerns to the Australian Government. We also urge the Queensland Government to make its own commitment to consulting Queenslanders on human rights. “It is not enough to rely on the national consultation. The Queensland Government needs to commit to ensuring that Queenslanders’ views are heard and acted upon”, Michael Cope said. “The Bligh Government needs to listen to the community on human rights and the best way to do that is through an open and independent public inquiry. The Queensland Charter Group is an apolitical network of organisations and individuals lobbying for greater human rights protections in Queensland. It is facilitated by the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties and sponsored by Trilby Misso Lawyers. CONTACT: Michael Cope MCope@mckayslaw.com Mob: 0432 847 154 Office: 3223 5939 Website: http://www.qccl.org.au/whatsnew.asp