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Clean-up slated for discrimination laws

Clean-up slated for discrimination laws

Federal anti-discrimination laws are set to be streamlined into a single comprehensive law, the Federal Attorney-General and Minster for Finance and Deregulation announced last week.In a joint…

Federal anti-discrimination laws are set to be streamlined into a single comprehensive law, the Federal Attorney-General and Minster for Finance and Deregulation announced last week.

In a joint announcement, Robert McClelland and Lindsay Tanner said the current Racial Discrimination Act 1975, Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Age Discrimination Act 2004 and Sex Discrimination Act 1984 would be melded into one Act, with the aim of making the legislation more "user-friendly".

"Effective anti-discrimination legislation is an important element in removing barriers to greater inclusion and participation in society," said McClelland in a statement.

"Anti-discrimination laws should be clear and easy to understand because people shouldn't need expensive legal advice to know their rights and obligations."

According to McClelland and Tanner, the amalgamation process will also include a review of the complaints handling process and the functions of the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Despite the significant changes, McClelland and Tanner are adamant that current protections under the legislation will not be diminished, and say the system will be far more efficient than it is at present.

"Consolidating all Commonwealth anti-discrimination legislation into one Act will reduce the regulatory burden and drive greater efficiencies and improved productivity outcomes by reducing compliance costs for individuals and businesses, particularly small business," said Tanner.

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