Draft Religious Freedoms Bill released for public consultation: Submissions close Wednesday, 2 October 2019

The Morrison Government has delivered on its commitment to shield Australians from discrimination on the basis of religion, with the release of a draft Religious Discrimination Bill.  I have previously stated, and still adhere to, that freedom of thought, conscience, speech and worship are essential and vital protections are needed. We need to get this legislation right for our nation. Your submissions are important to developing these Bills before being introduced into Parliament.

The package of legislative reforms on religious freedoms comprise of three bills.

  • The Religious Discrimination Bill, which provides comprehensive protection against discrimination on the basis of religious belief or activity and establishes a new office of Freedom of Religion Commissioner. This Bill implements recommendations 15 and 19 of the Ruddock Review.
  • The Religious Discrimination (Consequential Amendments Bill) 2019 which makes consequential amendments to existing Commonwealth legislation to support the introduction of the Religious Discrimination Bill. This Bill implements recommendations 3, 15 and 19 of the Ruddock Review.
  • The Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Freedom of Religion Bill) 2019 which amends the Charities Act 2013 and Marriage Act 1961 to provide certainty to charities and religious education institutions. This Bill implements recommendations 3, 4 and 12 of the Ruddock Review.
Provide your submission by emailing FoRConsultation@ag.gov.au. Please use the submission form template provided on the website: https://www.ag.gov.au/Consultations/Pages/religious-freedom-bills.aspx.

Submissions close on Wednesday, 2 October 2019.

The draft bill will form the basis of extensive consulation over the coming weeks with the final draft bill to be presented to Federal Parliament in October.

Please contact my office on 9899 7211 if you require any further information.