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Archbishop Peter A Comensoli, left, Anthony Albanese and Jacinta Collins (ACBC/ABC News and NCEC)

Melbourne Archbishop Peter A Comensoli and the National Catholic Education Commission have raised concerns about Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s plan to work with the Greens on religious discrimination laws. Source: Herald Sun. 

Labor is seeking to can the right of religious schools to expel students and sack teachers for their sexuality or gender, while maintaining their ability to preference the hiring of staff based on their faith.

After last week saying that bipartisan support with the Coalition would be needed to achieve its election commitment, Mr Albanese yesterday changed his position and said the laws could be overhauled with the Greens’ support.

“If the Greens are willing to support the rights of people to practice their faith, then that would be a way forward but we don’t currently have that,” Mr Albanese said.

Archbishop Comensoli urged the Government to work with the Coalition to achieve bipartisan support, saying that seeking the Greens’ backing was a “dangerous path” because the party did not consider religious freedom as significant.

“The Greens have policies, very specific policies, that seek to remove religious exemptions entirely from any discrimination law,” he said.

“They have policies that reject the possibility of chaplaincy in schools, they have policies which seek to defund hospitals if they do not provide certain medical provisions.

“At a state level, the Greens have backed restrictions on religious exemptions in anti-discrimination law and stripping funding from any non-government school that preferences students or staff on the basis of a religious background.”

National Catholic Education executive director Jacinta Collins said that based on the Greens’ record, a positive agreement would be very unlikely.

“How could we expect a fair balance of protected rights if the Greens are ideologically opposed to religious schools?” Ms Collins said.


Religious leaders fear discrimination reform backed by Greens ‘dangerous’ (By Jade Gailberger, Herald Sun)

Catholic education says a religious freedom deal with the Greens unlikely based on track record (NCEC)


Catholic school parents seek choice – not discrimination (Catholic School Parents Australia)