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Response to Religious Leaders Letter

Joint media release

Julian Leeser MP, Shadow Attorney General and Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians
Senator the Hon Sarah Henderson, Shadow Minister for Education 

In an unprecedented letter, faith leaders have unanimously rejected Labor’s attempts to water down their ability to hire staff in accordance with their religious ethos.

Parents choose faith-based schools because they want their children educated in a community where staff adhere to or support the faith traditions of that institution.

We believe this is fundamentally about the rights of parents.

The Prime Minister and Attorney-General are breaking their commitment to schools and parents on this issue.

The law should continue to allow faith-based schools to preference adherents and supporters of their ethos in decisions about employment.

We respect the rights of Copts, Anglican, Jewish, Catholic and Muslim parents to raise their children in accordance with their beliefs. This is an integral part of Australia’s multicultural and multifaith tradition.

We should not accept any argument that this inquiry is independent of the government. This is a report developed for the Albanese Government under its instructions. The report is in accordance with the Attorney-General’s terms of reference.

The Attorney-General, the Prime Minister and parliamentarians hire staff in accordance with support for their own personal and political ethos. It is hypocrisy by Labor to deny religious schools the continued ability to build a community in keeping with their religious ethos.

The fact that Labor’s inquiry has got this so wrong demonstrates the government is deaf to the concerns of people of faith.

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