Federal Budget boosts funding for Human Rights

11 May 11

DATE: 11 May 2011

The Gillard Government has announced additional funding to the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) as part of the 2011-12 Budget. The total funding of $5.7 million will include the establishment of an Age Discrimination Commissioner and support team as well as $1.6 million over four years to restore the positions of Race and Disability Discrimination Commissioners.

The establishment of an Age Discrimination Commissioner is aimed at tackling the attitudes and stereotypes that contribute to age discrimination, in particular focusing on the obstacles faced by mature workers and senior Australians in reaching a level of equality.

In a media statement, the government stated that it “strongly believes people susceptible to age discrimination deserve a dedicated advocate.” The Age Discrimination Commissioner will tackle discrimination in getting a job, applying for promotions. The Commissioner will also raise awareness about the contributions that senior Australian’s can make in the workforce.

The restoration of the full-time positions of Race and Disability Discrimination Commissioners will help the AHRC in its role to promote and protect human rights including advocating for vulnerable members of the community who are discriminated against on the basis of race or disability.

The Attorney General, Robert McClelland says that these measures reflect the Gillard Government’s commitment to “combat discrimination and intolerance, promote equality and cultural diversity, and give a voice to those who have suffered through discrimination.”