Project status: Closed
About the reforms
Discrimination can affect people in their day-to-day lives – at work or in education, accessing government services, participating in sport, joining a club, or practising a religion.
An ACT Government priority is to modernise our discrimination law and put the ACT at the forefront of best practice in promoting equal opportunity, respect for diversity and social inclusion in our community.
Reviewing the Discrimination Act 1991 (the Act) is a key part of the ACT Government’s Capital of Equality Strategy 2019-2023 and a commitment under the Parliamentary and Governing Agreement for the 10th Legislative Assembly.
How you had YourSay
Thank you to all participants who provided submission as part of the public consultation processes for the Discrimination Law Reform project.
- On 22 October 2021, the Government released a Discussion Paper seeking views from members of the public about changes to discrimination law. The Government also released eight short Consultation Guides, each dealing with a specific discussion topic. Submissions on the Discussion Paper and an online survey closed on 30 January 2022.
- On 7 April 2022, a Listening Report was published outlining the feedback and input from the consultation on the Discussion Paper. The feedback and suggestions from this consultation was used to develop an Exposure Draft Discrimination Amendment Bill.
- On 1 June 2022, the ACT Government released an Exposure Draft of the Discrimination Amendment Bill 2022 for further consultation. Comments and feedback on the Exposure Draft Discrimination Amendment Bill closed on Friday 1 July 2022.
- On 30 November 2022, a Listening Report was publishing summarising the key themes from the feedback on the Exposure Draft Discrimination Amendment Bill.
The consultation documents including the Discussion Paper, Consultation Guides, Exposure Draft Bill and Listening Reports can be viewed under the Document Library on this page.
All feedback and comments received during both public consultation processes were considered and used to refine the Discrimination Amendment Bill 2022, which was introduced in the Legislative Assembly on 30 November 2022 and passed on 23 March 2023.
About the Discrimination Amendment Bill 2022
Community and stakeholder feedback received during both rounds of public consultation informed the development of the Discrimination Amendment Bill 2022. The Bill and accompanying explanatory statement can be accessed on the ACT Legislation Register.
The amendments passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly will:
- expand the coverage of the Act to more areas of public life where discrimination and sexual harassment are unlawful. The Bill proposes to include formally organised sporting activities, formally organised competitions and the administration of Territory laws or ACT government program or policy as areas of public life.
- refine and narrow exceptions to unlawful discrimination concerning domestic workers, insurance and superannuation, clubs and voluntary bodies, religious bodies, sport and work.
- introduce a positive duty to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate a person’s particular needs arising from their protected attribute.
- insert a positive duty requiring all organisations, businesses, and individuals with organisational management responsibility in these entities to take reasonable and proportionate steps to eliminate discrimination, sexual harassment and unlawful vilification.