In 1901, Australia's founding fathers forgot to include free speech in the constitution. 


Free speech only existed in common law, meaning the government could get rid of it at any time. 

In 1992, the high court
read an implied freedom of political communication into the constitution. To have the right to vote, they reasoned, you needed the right to talk about politics. 

But it didn't last very long. 

In 2019, the high court
dismantled the implied freedom of political communication, saying that it did not apply to individuals or groups, only "political communication as a whole."


Without any constitutional protection, laws have now been passed abolishing free speech for over 2 million Australians. 

These include:

  • Laws against charities talking about politics.

  • Laws against border force officials talking about immigration detention.​

  • Laws against journalists talking about national security. ​

  • Laws against government scientists talking about their own research. 

  • Laws against public servants talking about politics. 

  • Laws against public servants talking about private companies. 

  • Laws against teachers talking about their own curriculum.