The Senate has ordered the Morrison Government to release a review of religious freedom led by former Liberal minister Philip Ruddock. Source: SBS News.
A motion calling on the Government to table the long-awaited report by this morning passed the upper house yesterday.
Greens senator Nick McKim said releasing the findings, which the Government has sat on for four months, was in the public interest because Prime Minister Scott Morrison had flagged legislation in the area.
“Mr Morrison and his cohorts on the right lost the marriage equality debate and now they want revenge,” Senator McKim told Parliament.
“It’s time to end the secrecy and allow the Australian people to see this report, including Mr Ruddock’s recommendations.”
However, the Government has refused to comply with the order, according to a letter posted on Twitter by Senator McKim yesterday.
The letter, signed by Finance Minister Mathias Cormann states: “The Government claims a public interest immunity over the documents referred to in the motion, on the grounds that these documents informed, and are the subject of, Cabinet deliberation. Cabinet confidentiality has been long accepted as grounds for a public interest immunity claim on the basis that the deliberations of the Cabinet must remain confidential.”
Liberal frontbencher Anne Ruston said the Government was undertaking detailed consideration of the report before releasing its findings.
Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull was handed Mr Ruddock’s final report in May, months after the inquiry was established in response to the same-sex marriage debate.
Release religious freedom report: senators (SBS News)
Senator Nick McKim's tweet (Twitter)