Update on West Australian Equal Opportunity Exemptions

Following recent media coverage in The West Australian on 9 November and 22 November, and comment article in WAToday and the Fairfax press, regarding calls for changes to the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA) we wrote to the WA Premier, Mark McGowan, following on from our earlier letter to the Attorney-General.  A copy of the letter to the Premier is attached below for the information of members.

A meeting of Principals from a wide range of WA Christian schools had already been arranged by our West Australian Executive Officer, Ray Dallin with the Education Minister, Hon. Sue Ellery MLC.  Executive Officer, National Policy, Mark Spencer acted as MC for the meeting at which the Minister provided assurances that the Government had not made any decisions about whether to consider changes to the Equal Opportunity Act.  She also committed to an open consultation process being followed with Christian and other faith-based schools having the opportunity to participate and be heard if the Government did determine that changes should be considered.

In a meeting of a smaller group with Shadow Education Minister, Hon. Donna Faragher MLC, and Shadow Attorney-General, Hon. Michael Mischin MLC, both indicated that any change in this area would be unlikely to receive support from the Opposition and expressed a willingness to receive further information on alternative approaches to protecting religious freedoms.  We will be contacting them further with more detailed information in due course.

Earlier in the day Executive Officer, National Policy, Mark Spencer was also interviewed by the ABC’s 7:30 Report on the proposals and a recent situation at a Christian school in WA.

We will continue to update schools on any further developments.

EDIT:

Executive Officer, National Policy, Mark Spencer spoke to Stephen O’Doherty on his Open House program on Hope 103.2 regarding these issues, you can download the interview here.

Further articles, by the same journalist, appeared in PerthNow and The West on Monday 18 December.

 

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