Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 3 Feb 2013.
One of the aims of the Gillard Government, now in election mode, is to consolidate the various anti-discrimination laws into a single Act of Parliament, and in so doing tweak or transform aspects of current laws that do not accord with the government’s ideological agenda.
One area of concern is the protection of religious freedom and freedom of speech enjoyed by all Australians, which was threatened by draft legislation, although federal Attorney-General Nicola Roxon on Thursday removed a section on conduct that offends.
The NSW Council of Churches shares concerns voiced by Australian Christian Lobby managing director Jim Wallace, who said current exemptions were too narrow in their protection of religious freedom.
Just as a political party chooses employees who share the aims of the party, churches, schools and other faith-based organisations should be free to employ staff who will uphold the tenets and beliefs of the organisation – no matter what their role.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.