Political belief

The Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person because of their political belief or activity.

The Act does not define political belief or activity, but decided cases indicate that it refers to beliefs or activities relating to the policies, structure, composition, roles, obligations, purposes or activities of government. Government includes Commonwealth, state and local governments.

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Political belief or activity discrimination examples

  • A council employee in a managerial position did not have his contract renewed because of his involvement with an environmental activist group which had publicly criticised the council's policies.
  • At a federal election, a woman who works as a dental technician handed out how to vote cards for a local candidate. Her boss saw her at the polling booth, and told her that she should look for another job, as he didn't want someone of that political persuasion working for him.
  • A group of people wanted to hire a community hall to conduct a public meeting to protest about a particular government policy. They were refused hire of the hall because the manager of the hall disagreed with their views.

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Information and enquiry service

Individuals, employers and business operators can access the Commission's statewide telephone information and enquiry service.

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Making a complaint

Make a complaint to the Commission on the Complaint Form about political belief or activity discrimination.

The complaint must be lodged with the Commission within 1 year of the discrimination happening.

The Commission's service is free.

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