Media Release

Northern Territory Government urged to revise discriminatory bill

A clear message was delivered today to the NT government by the large gathering of around 300 concerned Territorians who rallied outside the NT Parliament in opposition to their proposed bill which, according to NT Bishop Gauci, would spell the end to faith-based schools and organisations in the Territory.

The NT Director of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), Christopher Brohier, said, “Today’s rally, on the back of a similar large attendance on Saturday 19 November at a media conference called by Bishop Charles Gauci, reveals the deep community opposition to the NT Labor Government’s Anti-Discrimination Amendment Bill.

“This Bill is friendless in the community. The strong attendance at these events included parliamentarians, faith and community leaders, school principals, teachers, parents and students, clearly showing that the Government has misread the mood of Territorians. About a third of parents of school going children send their children to faith-based schools. Their right to choose their child’s education should not be abolished by the stroke of a pen of an over-zealous Attorney General. Parents do not want these schools closed due to government overreach.”

Mr Brohier concluded, “If the voice of the people is ignored and the Bill is pushed through, the ACL will continue to remind Territorians right up to the next election that it was the Labor Government who passed this damaging and discriminatory Bill through in the face of community opposition.”

The Bill is being tabled in parliament on Tuesday 22 November. The ACL urges the Government to postpone a premature vote on the legislation and instead, commit to proper consultation with respected faith leaders in the community.


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