​Anti-Discrimination NSW condemns racial hatred letters sent to Sydney councillors

The State’s anti-discrimination authority, Anti-Discrimination NSW (ADNSW), has condemned the racial hatred letters sent to four Sydney councillors earlier this month. The expletive-riddled letters – which contained threatening language, racial slurs and blamed Chinese people for coronavirus deaths – were sent to councillors at City of Sydney, Cumberland City Council and Georges River Council.

President of ADNSW the Honourable Dr Annabelle Bennett AC SC welcomed the news that New South Wales Police was investigating the racial hatred letters.

“Twelve months ago, I called for calm and community cohesion as public health concerns about COVID-19 fuelled discriminatory behaviour. 

“A year on, it is disappointing, to say the least, to see continuing instances of racism against Chinese Australians and other Asian communities,” Dr Bennett said. 

Race discrimination is against the law in certain areas of public life and occurs when you have been treated unfairly because of your race, or because you are the relative, friend or colleague of someone of a particular race. 

Racial vilification is also against the law and is a public act that could incite hatred, serious contempt or ridicule towards people of a particular race. 

Public acts include:

communications that can be seen or heard by the public (this includes print, radio, video or online)

  • signs, flags or clothing that could be seen by the public
  • distributing and sharing information to the public.
  • Dr Bennett is encouraging anyone who has experienced race discrimination or racial vilification in NSW to contact ADNSW. 

“ADNSW works to eliminate discrimination in NSW by resolving enquiries and complaints and raising awareness about discrimination.

“If you feel that you have been discriminated against or vilified, you can lodge a written complaint. 

“We can help you and the other party to find a way of resolving the matter according to the law.” 

Those who witness discrimination are encouraged to report it via the ADNSW online community reporting tool

Racial vilification that threatens or incites violence is a criminal offence and should be referred to the police.