death by paper cut

{October 9, 2007}   not allowed to complain

Overseas students have taken the state to the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, arguing laws denying them public transport concessions are discriminatory.


Represented by the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria, they claim 100,000 international students bring about $3 billion a year to the economy but are treated as second-class citizens, banned from concession rates on trams, trains and buses.


When conciliation failed, the council was preparing to take the case to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.


Transport Minister Lynne Kosky this week moved to ensure that if a case was launched, it would be the first and last time. Telling Parliament the Government’s policy was not discriminatory, she introduced an amendment to the Equal Opportunity Act banning discrimination complaints by overseas students over public transport.

read more from the age 

this is quite a back dated report actually. it just seems so laughable to me even now. as in international student i pay about twice the amount on transport as compared to a student who is a citizen or a permanent resident. it personally does not affect me very much because i live walking distance from most places i need to traverse to frequently. every now and then i pay a full day fare out to the suburbs if i want to gallivant, and had better plan to make it a full day affair for more mileage.

the news article delineated the arguments on both sides of whether or not international students should enjoy the same benefits as local students. but that’s not really the point. the point is that australia has actually banned people from making a fuss about it (on discriminatory grounds in this case).

can you really disallow a group of people from protesting? isn’t that what to protest is all about? to make a scene about some grievance? the thing is, staging a demonstration happens all the time in melbourne. why single out a certain group now and ban them from airing their grievance?

most poignantly ironic about this ban is that its coming from a country that prides itself on free speech and not being a totalitarian state unlike some other country they constantly accuse of being guilty of.

metroblogging melbourne’s take on it.


Haha! Sounds like the All Whites Party we have back home!

steelwool says:

yes, pot calling the kettle black.

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