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Before the last election, Anthony Albanese vowed to deliver religious protections (ABC News/Adam Kennedy)

The Albanese Government has effectively shelved its push to introduce both extraordinary immigration powers and religious discrimination laws, with Labor offering few signs it will seek to deliver on its promised policies before the election. Source: ABC News.

Ahead of the final parliamentary sitting fortnight before the winter break, Labor has left its migration removal proposal off the first week’s draft Senate program.

That bill seeks to make it easier for the Immigration Minister to deport non-citizens. It would also give the Government the power to effectively ban travel from countries that do not accept involuntary returns of their citizens.

It’s the second time in two months that Labor has refused to list its bill for debate in the Senate. 

Labor and the Coalition effectively agree on the substance of the bill’s goals, but the Opposition is refusing to offer its support unless the Government agrees to its amendments. 

The stand-off over migration also extends to Labor’s promise to deliver religious discrimination laws, with few signs either side is seeking to initiate negotiations on either matter.

Ahead of the last election, then opposition leader Anthony Albanese promised to introduce measures to protect LGBT staff and students from discrimination in religious schools. At the same time, he also vowed to deliver protections for people of faith.

The ABC sought an update on the proposals from the offices of the Prime Minister and Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus.

“The Government is seeking an enduring solution that strengthen protections for students, teachers and people of faith. And that’s why we’ve consistently said bipartisan support is essential,” a spokesperson for Mr Dreyfus said.

“The Opposition has still not told the Government its position on our proposed religious discrimination bills which they have had since March 2024.”

Shadow Attorney-General Michaelia Cash said the Coalition agreed with faith groups that had described Labor’s proposals as “inadequate”.

“As I have made clear to Mr Dreyfus, both he and the Government should take heed of that feedback and produce a revised draft of his legislation. He has had this feedback for many weeks now,” she said.

“I have also told Mr Dreyfus that he should release a revised draft of the legislation publicly so it can be openly debated.”


Proposed extraordinary immigration powers and religious protections face uncertain future (By Brett Worthington, ABC News)