In the light of the Morrison government’s attempts to extend secondary boycott laws to cover boycotts by consumers, investors and advertisers, I thought I would repost this piece from 2014. I’m inclined to agree with Chris Berg (link broken unfortunately) that all restrictions on secondary boycotts should be scrapped. In particular, that applies to bans imposed on unions under Sections 45D and 45E of the Trade Practices Act.
The reaction of the Institute of Public Affairs to the Abbott governments backdown on the race-hate proviions Section 18C has been, by its own admission, intemperate (“white hot anger” is the description they used; I think I also saw “ice-cold rage”.
By contrast, the IPA has been much more ambivalent on freedom of speech. I noted a while ago, this piece suggesting that environmentalists who questioned the viability of the coal industry could be prosecuted either under securities legislation or as an illegal secondary boycott. This view isn’t unanimous however. Following some Twitter discussion (must get Storify working properly for things like this) Chris Berg pointed to a piece he’d written arguing against such a use of secondary boycott legislation (and against such legislation in general).
I was, naturally interested in how Freedom Commissioner and former IPA fellow Tim Wilson would respond to proposals to suppress free…
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