Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP has urged MPs to hold the New South Wales Government accountable and ensure it does not implement weaker legislation to combat modern slavery than Parliament originally intended. Source: The Catholic Weekly.
The NSW Government last week introduced a Modern Slavery Amendment Bill 2021 into Parliament. This bill is significantly different to the Modern Slavery Act passed by Parliament in June 2018, which was enacted but never commenced.
Archbishop Fisher said it’s a major setback which would effectively weaken and not strengthen the conditions and prospects of modern slavery victims.
“In 2018, the NSW Parliament passed one of the strongest pieces of anti-slavery legislation in the world. Regrettably this Act, while found in the NSW Statute Book, has never been commenced by the Government for so-called excuses that do not amount to a credible explanation,” he said.
Archbishop Fisher said the Act had been “radically reworked and severely diminished” with the new bill, with the “moral imperative to take action against all forms of slavery that was present in the 2018 Act has all but disappeared”.
The Sydney Archbishop’s concerns are shared by a number of faith leaders from other Christian denominations as well as from the Hindu and Muslim communities. They have written an open letter to Premier Dominic Perrottet, reminding him of the urgency to act now.
NSW MPs must act against modern slavery and human trafficking: Archbishop Fisher (By Michael Kenny, The Catholic Weekly)