The long-awaited Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) report into exemptions for faith-based schools was due today. It has now been deferred until the end of the year.
Concerningly the ALRC proposals, published in January, would strip religious schools of the right to hire staff who share their ethos and prevent them from providing authentic religious schooling.
Christopher Brohier, National Political Director for the Australian Christian Lobby, said,
“In the last few weeks, dozens of ACL supporters, parents and students have visited government MPs in their electorate offices urging them to protect Christian schooling.
“It appears that their voices have been heard. The Government wasn’t prepared to accept an ALRC report that would anger the faith community. It is vital that the ALRC report assists the Government to provide some protection to Christian schooling rather than undermining it.
“In-depth polling in October 2022 revealed:
- 77.8% of Australians support the right of a religious school to employ teachers and other staff who support the clearly stated values and beliefs of the school.
- Nearly 90% of parents with children in a faith-based school support this right.
- 86% of all voters support the right of parents to choose a school that reflects their strongly held values and beliefs.
“With the deferral of the ALRC report, the Government must not forget its election promise to pass a Religious Discrimination Act that provides real protection for people of faith,” Mr Brohier said.