|Coat of Arms of Queensland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
NZ Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully is concerned proposed changes to legislation in Queensland could be seen as directly targeting New Zealanders.
The state government there wants to strip tens of thousands of New Zealanders ‘‘temporarily’’ residing in Queensland of protection from state discrimination after it nearly lost a battle to refuse help to a disabled Kiwi.
In a statement, McCully said that while the proposed legislation did not refer specifically to New Zealanders, he was concerned that the amendments could be seen as targeting them.
‘‘I have asked officials to follow up with the state government to clarify the intention of the proposed amendments,’’ he said.
If the bill were to pass, government agencies could deny support based on someone’s residency status and it would no longer be considered discriminatory. The amendments are part of a broader bill which passed its first reading on Thursday.