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Some of the 41 signatories to the letter to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (Supplied)

Faith leaders have told Prime Minister Anthony Albanese it would be a “betrayal of trust” for Labor to team up with the Greens and implement the Australian Law Reform Commission’s recommendations to remove protections for faith-based schools. Source: The Australian.

A letter was sent to the Mr Albanese yesterday bearing the signatures of 41 spiritual-leaders and educators, urging him to honour his election commitment and “maintain the right of religious educational institutions to preference people of their own faith, and not to compromise this to secure the support of the Greens.”

The letter advised Mr Albanese not to abandon attempts to achieve bipartisan support for reforms that could protect religious freedoms, and backed the cautious approach to change being taken by the Coalition.

“We consider the reluctance of the Opposition to offer support to a legislative proposal for religious freedom which is – at this point – unseen and untested by faith communities to be reasonable and prudent, rather than an indication that a bipartisan approach endorsed by the faith communities is unachievable,” the letter said.

Catholic signatories to the letter include National Catholic Education Commission executive director Jacinta Collins, Melbourne Archbishop Peter A Comensoli, Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, Melkite Bishop Robert Rabbat, Maronite Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay, Chaldean Bishop Amel Nona and Catholic Schools NSW chief executive Dallas McInerney. 

The alliance of 41 faith leaders and educators – including a large number of Islamic and Christian groups – expressed “deep concerns” at the prospect of Labor negotiating with the Greens on this bill.

“We expect that any proposal supported by the Greens will be unfavourable to faith communities. If the Government chooses to abandon attempts at bipartisanship and work with the Greens, it will be interpreted by our faith communities as a betrayal of trust.”

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus yesterday tabled the long-awaited ALRC report which proposed removing section 38 of the Sex Discrimination Act, which allows religious schools to discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status.

Under the proposed change, a new Religious Discrimination Act would be created to give religious institutions the ability to preference teachers based on their faith. 


Anthony Albanese urged not to ‘betray’ faith groups (By Joe Kelly, The Australian