Media Release

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today congratulated the NSW Opposition for making a stand to protect Special Religious Education Classes (SRE).

ACL’s NSW Director David Hutt welcomed the announcement by the NSW Opposition that they will scrap the St James Ethics Centre’s secular ethics classes if they win the March 2011 state election.

“I would like to congratulate the NSW Opposition for showing leadership on this issue,” Mr Hutt said. “This decision guarantees a bright future for SRE – an important part of the NSW education system.

“Of course no one is opposed to the idea of children being taught ethics in schools however the St James Ethics Centre’s proposal was unworkable and put ethics classes – something all children should be able to attend – in competition with SRE. This meant that children attending SRE would be unable to attend both SRE and ethics classes.

“However we also have very strong reservations about the ethics syllabus. We note the Education Minister had to intervene on the eve of the trial and remove controversial material about terrorist hijackings and designer babies from the Year 5 and 6 syllabus. Many schools also banned lessons on graffiti,” he said.

“ACL welcomes today’s announcement by the Opposition. There is now a clear choice for voters on this issue in the lead up to the March election.”