Proposed Federal Voter identification laws – threat to democracy

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

Attorney-General and Minster for Justice Shannon Fentiman has slammed new identification laws introduced in the Federal Parliament today as attacking the very foundation of Australia’s democracy.

“This new proposal to force voters to show identification at the Federal polling both, be it a drivers license, Medicare card or passport, will exclude our most marginalised members of our society,” Ms Fentiman said.

“I am particularly concerned about elderly and young voters, people in remote rural regions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with a disability, immigrants and the homeless.

“The Federal Government seems to have forgotten these Australians.

“The Morrison-Joyce Government has once again shown who’s voice really matters to them, and more importantly who’s doesn’t.

“At a time when we should be focussed on getting as many vulnerable members of our society vaccinated against COVID-19 the Prime Minster has instead turned his attention to marginalising them.”

The Attorney-General said it was clear that on the eve of the next Federal election the Government was more focussed denying Australians their right to vote than driving the nation’s COVID recovery.

“It was the Newman Government that introduced Australia’s first voter identification laws in 2014,” Ms Fentiman said.

“During that time, Queensland voters were turned away from polling booths for not having ID or for having ID that didn’t match their details on the electoral roll.

“I’m proud that the Palaszczuk Government abolished these laws in 2015 in a move that was heralded by the Human Rights Law Centre.

“The proposed new laws by the Morrison Government completely undermine the electoral system and highlights a government out of ideas and out of touch.

“The Morrison-Joyce Government had two jobs over the past 18 months, vaccinations and quarantine, both of which they failed, however this is what they are focusing on.

“I would suggest to Mr Morrison, now that he has made his deal with the Nationals to finally focus on climate change, to scrap these proposed draconian laws and let all Australians have their say.

“What is he afraid of?”

/Public Release. View in full here.