"Legislating for a Bill of Rights Now"

Papers on Parliament No. 36 June 2001

'Without a Bill of Rights, many of our basic freedoms, possibly even including the right to vote of some sections of the community, can be taken away by federal, state and territory parliaments. Any student of Australian history will be aware of the danger that parliaments can pose to civil liberties. After all, one of the first pieces of legislation passed by the new Commonwealth Parliament was the Immigration Restriction Act 1901, which implemented the White Australia policy.'