Friday, June 21, 2024

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HomeIssue 14No need to declare interest: Paech

No need to declare interest: Paech

Town Councillor Chansey Paech (pictured) says there was no need for him to declare an interest as a paid adviser to Senator Nova Peris when he moved a motion at last Monday’s council meeting opposing changes to the federal Racial Discrimination Act.
In a letter to Mayor Damien Ryan Sen Peris appealed for council to oppose the mooted amendments: “The changes mean that it will no longer be unlawful to offend, insult or humiliate someone based on their race or ethnicity.
“As you may be aware the Liberal Attorney General, George Brandis,  has defended these changes by saying the “people do have a right to be a bigot”.
Cr Paech put a motion to council in keeping with her appeal. He  says Sen Peris sent the letter to all councils in the NT, asking them to consider taking action.
There is opposition to the changes across the nation, says Cr Paech.
“I was hoping another councillor would take it up, and when this did not happen, as a man of mixed heritage, I took it up.
“All other councilors are fully aware of my position with Sen Peris.”



  1. Crs Paech and Melky called for protection against bigotry as a cut and dry matter.
    Rarely are such issues, with motivations, clearly presented, particularly by political activists regardless of sides.
    Apartheid bigotry remains central to policy, it seems regardless of who wears Commonwealth management hats.
    Attorney General George Brandis defends his changes as “people do have a right to be a bigot” to reduce racist filters interfering with public discourse. Or are they just another distraction ?
    Racism is any benefit providing favour or disadvantage using racial filters.
    Australians need protection from racist flavours in policy by government – particularly Commonwealth Government, policy far more than from an occasional, possibly abusive comment.
    Who, where and how is it decided a comment is abusive ?
    Our best solution is to proclaim such comment as abusive, then through public discourse persuade others to agree.
    Courts with juries may provide suitable location, yet sadly that is mostly for those who can afford it.

  2. @ Paul I entirely agree with your comment, in the interest of this discussion I spent some time this morning looking through various Dictionaries for a defining interpretation of the word Bigot or Bigotry.
    It seems there is a dangerously broad interpretation of the words meaning, and I mean dangerous in terms of a threat to free speech.
    To a person on the left of politics someone on the right may seem extreme yet to a person in the middle neither may appear to be extreme. It’s all about perspective. A court that must operate within the definition could struggle not to interpret even normal every day partisan political view points as bigotry!
    So I’m with you Paul. Points of view on any subject are better left to free and open discussion. In the end the community itself must decide what is acceptable and what is not.

  3. So Cr Brown thinks racism and bigotry is all about perspective? I know plenty of people who find racism offensive no matter how they vote.

  4. @ Melanie. Huh! Think you haven’t entirely grasped the point of discussion. Perhaps it would be a good idea to understand what your talking about before commenting!
    Get a couple [more than one] of dictionaries out, look up the words bigot and bigotry you will find that there are many possible interpretations of those words.
    The level at which an opinion goes from being just that, to where it can be judged as bigotry is purely Judgmental.
    If a court was to take a literal interpretation, a point of view such as your own, could be judged as bigotry in certain circumstances, as it depends on the point of view of the person judging.
    Because of this I don’t believe that we should be using words like bigot to define what we can and cannot say. Nor, Melanie, are the words bigot and bigotry tied to the word racism, you can absolutely be a bigot without being a racist! Leaves me wondering even further about your comment, do you see the “R” word in mine?

  5. Now I get why you are a defender of hate speech Cr Steve. Message received and understood. And thanks for your expert legal and educational advice.
    It must be difficult for a man as smart as yourself to put up with having to be part of an elected body that is supposed to be representing dummies like me.
    While you’re ferreting through the dictionary I hope you get to the ds. For democracy I mean.

  6. @ Melanie: You are right, it is all about Democracy! Democracy and free speech go hand in hand, one cannot exist without the other!
    Anything that threatens the right to express an opinion is a threat to democracy. For some reason you are under the impression that the word Bigot only applies to someone other than yourself. As it stands you are wrong, the word could easily be applied to many of the very healthy exchanges of opinion that go on in this publication from the likes of you and me.
    I think that’s wrong. I think the frank and passionate exchange of views is very good for democracy. That includes many of your own comments, which by the way I have always appreciated and read with interest, although usually from a different perspective to your own.
    However, using lines like “supporter of hate speech” are more like propaganda from a witch hunt during the Inquisition than anything to do with democracy! Please have a think about it, Melanie.

  7. The strength of democratic societies free public discussion, ensuring all views are exchanged.
    For democracy it matters less who someone votes for, more that they vote freely 🙂

  8. The bigger issue here appears to be WHY is a local councillor introducing issues to ASTC at the behest of the Senator?
    Said Senator appears to have an awful lot to say about local council and Territory issues – what is the agenda here?

  9. Behest you at what moment in time is it reported that the issues was behested?
    In case you have forgotten, a role of a Senator is to: Represent the views of their state in the Senate, so isn’t the Senator doing her job by being across it?


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