Government Needs To Consult All Australians on Religious Freedom

Religious discrimination legislation affects all Australians, not just the Liberal Party room, and the Morrison Government must ensure there is time to ensure all Australians are properly consulted about this important bill.

MARK DREYFUS
SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM
MEMBER FOR ISAACS


GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO CONSULT ALL AUSTRALIANS ON RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION – NOT JUST THE LIBERAL PARTY ROOM

Religious discrimination legislation affects all Australians, not just the Liberal Party room, and the Morrison Government must ensure there is time to ensure all Australians are properly consulted about this important bill.

The Liberals have been arguing about this issue for more than two years but now want to give the rest of the country just weeks to debate this important bill.

Having consulted only internally through Liberal Party room “workshops” and “presentations for Liberal and Nationals backbenchers” Attorney-General Christian Porter now wants to bring legislation into the House within weeks, with a final vote before the end of the year.

This is despite the fact that the Australian Law Reform Commission, which was commissioned by the Government to inquire into the Framework of Religious Exemptions in Anti discrimination Legislation, is not due to report its findings until April next year.

It is totally unacceptable for such far-reaching, complex and potentially divisive legislation to be decided almost entirely by sections of the Liberal Party.

The Liberal Party room is not the Parliament, and the secretive and to date exclusive process being used to develop this legislation is causing anxiety among large sections of the Australian community.

It’s important that no Australian be unfairly discriminated against because of their religious beliefs. We all have a responsibility to respect the views of others.

All Australians have a right to take part in this debate, not just the Liberal Party. The whole community should be given the chance to properly scrutinise what’s being proposed, and not have this rushed through Parliament because of the Government’s internal divisions.

  • Mark Dreyfus
    published this page in Portfolio Media 2019-08-22 12:53:00 +1000

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