6 October 2020
For immediate release

Turning words into action: QAI has elected to be bound by the Human Rights Act 2019

QAI is excited to announce it has been declared a ‘public entity’ for the purpose of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) (HRA)! 

The passage of the HRA in Queensland was a significant milestone for this state and this nation. It is the first time this state has had dedicated legislation to protect the human rights of all Queenslanders. Queensland is the first Australian jurisdiction to protect the right to health and to establish an accessible complaints mechanism.

“Human rights belong to everyone and are fundamental to an inclusive society,” QAI Director Michelle O’Flynn said today. “QAI has always operated within a human rights framework and endeavours to protect and defend the human rights of the most vulnerable Queenslanders, in particular Queenslanders with disability.

“In becoming the first organisation to voluntarily opt-in to be bound by the HRA, QAI seeks to honour our commitment to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and hopes to contribute to a broader human rights culture within our community,” Ms O’Flynn continued. 

So what does this mean for QAI?

With uncertainty around who will be deemed a ‘public entity’ for the purpose of the Act, QAI has removed any ambiguity regarding its own obligations and is now legally bound by the substantive and procedural obligations under the Act. In other words, QAI must act and make decisions in a way that is compatible with human rights and must consider human rights when making decisions. If we have practices that do not comply with the standard required by the Act then we, like everyone, must do better. We welcome the opportunity to improve our practices and want to ensure we comply with the standard we campaigned so long to attain.

“We hope others will join us in demonstrating their commitment to creating a society where everyone is treated with dignity, fairness and respect and where the inherent value of each person is acknowledged and protected,” Ms O’Flynn said.

Media contact: Michelle O’Flynn, Director, QAI
Phone: 0481 381 528