Access, equity & human rights

Access and equity

The Mornington Peninsula principles of access and equity intersect all areas of our work. Support for access and equity to programs and services, regardless of one’s cultural, linguistic or religious background is found in our Access and Equity Policy.

Download: Access and Equity Policy(PDF, 280KB)

Human rights charter

Mornington Peninsula Shire supports human rights and is dedicated to facilitating the necessary conditions and opportunities to enable all people to be free from discrimination and to be treated fairly.

What are human rights?

Human rights are the basic rights that belong to all of us because of our shared humanity. Human rights are the foundation for freedom, justice, peace and respect, and are an essential part of any democratic and inclusive society that respects the rule of law, human dignity and equality.

Rights protected in the charter 

The charter reflects a fair go for all and contains 20 individual rights within the four key areas of freedom, respect, equality and dignity.

The charter requires public authorities such as local government departments and agencies, and people delivering services on behalf of government to act consistently with the human rights charter.

Under section 38 of the charter, it is unlawful for a public authority to act in a way that is incompatible with human rights, or to fail to give proper consideration to relevant human rights when making decisions.

Section 38 of the charter also says that the charter does not apply if another law requires the public authority to act in that way.

How is the charter relevant to Council?

It will directly affect most areas of Council's operations, as all policies, strategies and decisions will be required to demonstrate that Council has given due consideration to human rights.

Council will be required to submit an annual report to the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. The commission is responsible for reporting each year to Parliament on the implementation of the charter.

Under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, councils are required to consider human rights when laws are made, policies are developed and services are provided.

It sets out our obligation in respect to promoting and upholding human rights:

  • all council decisions must give proper consideration to human rights
  • all council actions, policies and services are required to be compatible with human rights
  • local laws are to be reviewed and applied consistently with human rights
  • people who work in local government need to do so in a way that respects human rights.

More information on human rights

To view the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, or for more information about Human Rights in Australia, visit the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission website.