On behalf of member schools CSA has contacted a number of potential cross bench parties seeking responses to the key issues around religious freedom as we head into the coming Federal Election.
Our letter to Senator Bernardi sought assurances that –
- the Australian Conservatives will not support any changes being made to existing protections, through the provision of exemptions in anti-discrimination legislation, until the Inquiry by the ALRC is complete; and
- the Australian Conservatives will support:
- appropriate protections for religious freedom, guaranteeing the rights outlined above, and
- the balancing of rights,
in accordance with the international covenants to which Australia is a signatory.
The response received today indicates that –
The Australian Conservatives believe it is absolutely vital that religious schools retain their religious freedom and are opposed to any attempts to further restrain that freedom.
We will introduce a Protected Freedoms Bill in the Senate that will preserve, among other core Australian freedoms, freedom of religion by rendering void any federal, state or territory laws that would reduce that freedom.
I confirm that the Australian Conservatives will not support any changes being made to existing protections until the Inquiry by the ALRC is complete.
We remain committed to supporting appropriate protections for the right of individuals and organisations – including schools – to practice their religious beliefs in Australia.
Senator Bernardi, along with Australian Conservatives Queensland Senate Candidate, Lyle Shelton, also took time out this morning to meet with our CEO, Daniel Pampuch to discuss these important issues.