Budget cut sees job go from Human Rights Commission

THE Abbott government will remove respected disability advocate Graeme Innes from the Australian Human Rights Commission from July, under a budget funding cut, Labor has said.

Budget papers released on Tuesday show the Attorney-General's Department will be stripped of $1.7 million over the next four years be cutting one of the three commissioners at the AHRC.

The papers show that one of the three commissioners, which also include philosopher Tim Southphommasane and former Institute of Public Affairs leader Tim Wilson, will take on Mr Innes' roles under the change.

Funds saved through the cut of $400,000 a year over the forward estimates will go to "fund policy priorities", the budget papers show.

But Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the cut, which would see Mr Innes fired from July, comes after Attorney-General Senator George Brandis "couldn't come clean" about his intentions for the commission last year.

"We now know the government had no intention of increasing funds for the Human Rights Commission to cover Mr Wilson's appointment," he said.

"In Opposition Senator Brandis was prepared to publicly criticise Mr Innes for advocating on behalf of Australians with a disability.

"At the time he blamed the "ideological culture" within the Human Rights Commission."

Comment was sought from Senator Brandis' office.


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