Australian Human Rights Commission President, Professor Gillian Triggs, has welcomed the Government’s decision to reappoint Mick Gooda as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner.
The announcement was made by Attorney-General Senator George Brandis at the 2014 Human Rights Awards held in Sydney last night.
“Commissioner Gooda has been a powerful advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Professor Triggs said.
“Mick has strong relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia and has been a strong voice on their behalf.
“He remains deeply committed to ensuring that justice and fairness are equally available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as they are to other Australians.”
Professor Triggs also welcomed the Attorney-General’s announcement that all children in immigration detention on Christmas Island will be released over the “next two to three weeks”, and all children in immigration detention in Australia will be released by the “early months of next year”.
“I encourage the Government to extend the generosity of Christmas to Nauru, so that we can all be sure that no child is suffering unnecessarily as a consequence of Australia’s asylum-seeker policies,” Professor Triggs said.
“While I welcome the release of children in detention, I am concerned that the process to assess asylum seekers’ claims to refugee status will be compromised by the changes to migration legislation. This legislation strips away fundamental human rights in breach of Australia’s international obligations.”
In his speech, Senator Brandis also requested that the Australian Human Rights
Commission conduct a major inquiry into employment discrimination against older Australians and people with disability.
“We welcome the reference provided by the Attorney-General to an inquiry into age and disability discrimination in the workplace,” Professor Triggs said.
“It demonstrates the Government’s confidence in Age and Disability Discrimination
Commissioner Susan Ryan and her work in this area. We look forward to hearing the details of how this new project will be funded.”
The Commission also welcomed the Attorney-General’s announcement that Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson will promote the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta in 2015.
Media contact: Angela Dorizas 0430 366 529