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Abbott to abandon Human Rights Framework

Abbott to abandon Human Rights Framework

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The development of Australia's Human Rights Framework introduced by Attorney-General Robert McClelland in April this year will be scrapped if the Coalition Government is elected on 21 August.

Arguing that the Labor Government's wasteful spending has pushed up interest rates, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott recently unveiled $1.2 billion in spending cuts which will see the end of Labor's Human Rights Framework.

President of the Law Council of Australia Glenn Ferguson said the Council has major concerns about the Coalition's plans to cut funding for the initiative.

"In the absence of a Human Rights Act, the Law Council supports all of the initiatives under the Human Rights Framework and does not want to see any of these initiatives cut," Ferguson said.

"Australian lawyers are only too familiar with the gaps in human rights protection in this country which were confirmed by the National Human Rights Consultation undertaken in 2009," he said. "The initiatives under Australia's Human Rights Framework go some way to addressing these gaps and should not be cut."

The Australian Human Rights Group (AHRG) has also announced its disappointment concerning Abbott's plans. The AHRG emphasised that Abbott must outline how his party will protect and promote human rights, without the Framework.

"I urge all parties to show leadership on this issue, to bring Australia into line with the rest of the developed world and help to improve the understanding of human rights, especially among Australia's public servants," said Edward Santow of the AHRG.

"The Opposition's plan to scrap the Human Rights Framework is presented as a financial saving, but our members know all too well that inaction on rights protection comes at an immense cost."

The AHRG said removing the human rights developments Australia has made in recent months ignores the views o f a large number of community workers, human rights experts and many religious groups.

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