Cohesive Community Coalition calls on Queensland Government to urgently implement law reform for hate crime

The Cohesive Communities Coalition, representing over 20 of Queensland’s diverse ethnic and religious communities, has welcomed the Queensland Parliament’s Legal Affairs and Safety Committee’s recommendations to strengthen the state’s response to hate crime and vilification.

The parliamentary inquiry into Queensland’s existing laws has found major gaps in reporting serious vilification and hate speech on and offline. The report confirms the unfortunate reality in our society that there continues to be some people who engage in destructive thinking and behaviour which manifests in serious vilification and hate crimes – and that deterrent sanctions are needed for those persons.

The Legal Affairs and Safety Committee’s 17 recommendations strongly reflect their tireless and detailed consideration of our original options paper, and the many considered ideas put forward during the inquiry.

We thank them for this report, which gives us enormous hope. We look forward to the Queensland Government’s rapid implementation of the report’s recommended legal changes, in particular the recommendation to introduce a statutory aggravation regarding hate/serious vilification into the Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld) and the Summary Offences Act 2006 (Qld) to apply to criminal conduct.

Acting swiftly will make our criminal legal system a place of justice and safety for more Queenslanders. There is no place in our community for racist hate or abuse and every victim of hate crime deserves to have their complaint recognised for what it is.