The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has commended Catholic Bishop, Charles Gauci, for standing up for parent’s rights to choose their children’s education in the Territory. Speaking on Mix 1049, Bishop Gauci called on the NT government to shelve their proposal to remove the right of Religious Educational Institutions to employ staff who share their faith.

He emphasised the serious ramifications for faith-based schools in the Territory by stating that he would consider closing Catholic schools if the Bill was passed.

The ACL's NT Director, Christopher Brohier, said, “Everyone understands the right of political parties to hire staff who are members of their parties, and for other values based organisations to hire staff who adhere to their ethos. And yet the NT government plans to deny faith-based schools this same right. Religious schools should not be forced to hire staff opposed to, or out of step, to their beliefs.

“The NT Fyles government proposal also denies the parental right enshrined in the ICCPR Article 18 (4) ‘to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.’ Instead, the NT government’s bill discriminates against parents who choose to send their children to religious schools in the expectation that staff will support the religious framework of the school.”

The ACL calls on the Territory Government to shelve this Bill and enter into proper consultation with all stakeholders.