Inquiry into the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Amendment Bill 2003

Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform opposes the enactment of the Disability Discrimination Amendment Bill 20031 that would amend the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 to permit discrimination against those addicted to illicit drugs unless they are in treatment. The substantive justifications that the Government has put forward are unconvincing, namely, the danger posed to others by addiction to illicit substances and that the Bill would stimulate those dependent on illicit substances to enter treatment. Provisions in the parent act already serve to protect the reasonable concerns of employers and others and the provision that links non-discrimination to treatment is likely to have little or no therapeutic benefit, probably the reverse. The Government has provided no competent assessment that the Bill will have beneficial effects.

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Submission by FFDLR member Bronwyn Barnard