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Statement on the tabling of the Australian Law Reform Commission's report on religious educational institutions and anti-discrimination laws

The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP
Media Release

No Australian should be discriminated against because of who they are or what they believe.

The Australian Law Reform Commission’s report tabled today is not a report from the Government. It is advice to the Government, and we will continue to consider it.

The Government will seek to enhance protections in anti-discrimination law in a way that brings Australians together.

Just as Commonwealth law already prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, disability and age, no one should be discriminated against because of their faith.

Equally, no students or member of staff should be discriminated against because of who they are. At the same time, religious schools must continue to be able to build and maintain communities of faith.

The Government recognises and respects the right of parents to send their kids to a religious school because of the beliefs and values they teach their children.

Over many months, we have been talking to a range of religious institutions, community organisations, unions and legal experts. We thank them for their engagement, and we thank the Australian Law Reform Commission for its work.

The Government is seeking an enduring solution that strengthens protections for all of us - students, teachers, people of faith. And that’s why bipartisan support for solutions is essential.