Talk to us

CathNews, the most frequently visited Catholic website in Australia, is your daily news service featuring Catholics and Catholicism from home and around the world, Mass on Demand and on line, prayer, meditation, reflections, opinion, and reviews. And, what's more - it's free!

Mark Dreyfus (Facebook/Mark Dreyfus)

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says the Coalition must deliver a “line-by-line” response to Labor’s draft religious discrimination reforms in order for the overhaul to progress. Source: The Australian.

Addressing the National Press Club in Canberra, Mr Dreyfus declared his opposition counterpart Michaelia Cash had “refused to engage” and he didn’t count the public statements she’d made as a proper response.

Mr Dreyfus said the Government was looking for enduring reform, “to give protections to staff and students in religious schools and protections to people of faith”.

He said he gave the bills the Government is hoping to bring to parliament to Opposition Leader Peter Dutton and Senator Cash in March.

“We’re waiting for line-by-line type of engagement. That’s what normally should occur.”

But Senator Cash, the Opposition’s legal affairs spokeswoman and a former attorney-general, said Mr Dreyfus already had a line-by-line response from faith groups that included drafting changes to the legislation.

“As we have consistently said, he must redraft his legislation to take the suggestions from faith groups into account, and release it publicly for all Australians to see,” she said.

There has been no progress on Labor’s draft religious discrimination laws since late May when talks between Mr Dreyfus and Senator Cash broke down and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he wouldn’t pursue the changes without bipartisan support.

The Australian reported in May the Australian Catholic Bishop Conference had put forward a detailed proposal to the Albanese Government to address significant concerns the Church has with the draft religious discrimination laws, warning as the legislation stood faith groups “would go a long way backwards”.

The Anglican Church has put forward a similar plan.


Mark Dreyfus wants ‘line-by-line’ response from Michaelia Cash on draft religious discrimination laws (By Rosie Lewis, The Australian)