Media Release

Northern Territory Government openly contradicts Federal Labor on religious freedom

The Northern Territory (NT) Labor Government has pushed through discrimination laws that directly contradict the commitments made by the Federal Labor Attorney General, the Hon Mark Dreyfus, in respect to the Federal Religious Discrimination Bill.

National Director of Politics for the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), Wendy Francis, said,

“The NT Government have broken ranks with the Federal Labor Government, revealing a biased and hostile attitude against people of faith.

“The NT Bill forces religious schools to hire staff who do not adhere to the school’s beliefs This is in direct opposition to Attorney General Mark Dreyfus’s public statement this month that religious schools can continue to build a community of faith by giving preference, in good faith, to persons of the same religion as the educational institution in the selection of staff.

“The Bill also prohibits any act that “is reasonably likely … to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or group of people”, meaning a person find themselves in trouble for merely expressing their opinion in an email or social media post if it offends someone.

“Territorians will not forget this overreach by the Labor Government at the next election or the welcome commitment by the Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro to repeal the discriminatory elements of this bill”.

The ACL calls on the Federal Attorney General Mark Dreyfus to immediately deliver a Religious Discrimination Bill to protect every Australian’s right to freedom of association, religion and speech.


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