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Anthony Albanese (ABC News/NIck Haggarty)

An unlikely alliance of faith groups, equality advocates, the Coalition and the Greens is demanding Prime Minister Anthony Albanese either intervene to save his religious discrimination bill or tell them the reforms are dead in this Parliament’s term. Source: The Australian. 

The Anglican Church, Christian schools, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils and Equality Australia joined the political parties in urging Mr Albanese to make clear the status of the reforms, which they say are crucial to the Australians they represent and should be pursued.

There has been no progress on Labor’s draft religious discrimination laws since late May when talks between Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus and Opposition legal affairs spokeswoman Michaelia Cash broke down and Mr Albanese said he wouldn’t pursue the changes without bipartisan support.

Some Labor MPs are keen for the Government to drop the draft laws, noting Mr Albanese and Mr Dreyfus didn’t want religious discrimination politicised.

South Sydney Anglican Bishop Michael Stead and Christian Schools Australia public policy director Mark Spencer said there was a path forward for Mr Albanese because the opposition would support the churches’ proposed amendments to better protect religious schools in Labor’s draft laws, which were put to the Government on May 9.

There had been “radio silence” since.

The proposal the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference put to Mr Dreyfus in May allows for the removal of section 38 of the Sex Discrimination Act but says it should be replaced by more precise protections for religious schools and corporations.

A similar plan was put forward by the Anglicans. Pregnant or breastfeeding students could not be discriminated against.

Mr Dreyfus’s spokeswoman said on Wednesday the Government was seeking an enduring, bipartisan solution that strengthened protection for students, teachers and people of faith.

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

Senator Cash said she had told Mr Dreyfus that he and the Government should take heed of the feedback from religious leaders, produce a revised draft of the legislation and release it publicly.


‘We’re fast losing faith,’ community groups warn Anthony Albanese (By Rosie Lewis, The Australian)