Derryn Hinch... expected to support the changes to race hate laws.
Derryn Hinch... expected to support the changes to race hate laws.

Backbenchers to push for changes to race hate laws

COALITION backbenchers in the Senate are set to support the latest push to water down the nation's race hate laws.

Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi is this week expected to move a private member's bill to remove the words "insult" and "offend" from the Racial Discrimination Act, meaning it would no longer be illegal to insult or offend a person on the basis of race.

Section 18C of the act makes it illegal to commit an act that is reasonably likely to "offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate" someone because of their race or ethnicity.

Conservative MPs - still reeling from their party's disappointing election result - say the issue is important to their base, arguing the laws, as they stand, impede free speech.

The ABC understands at least 10 Coalition Senators - including Linda Reynolds, Chris Back, Eric Abetz, Ian MacDonald, John Williams and Barry O'Sullivan - have agreed to support the bill, as well as the bloc of One Nation senators and crossbenchers Derryn Hinch, Bob Day and David Leyonhjelm.

More on this at ABC News


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