Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP has welcomed the Morrison Government’s decision to postpone introducing the religious freedom bill to Parliament. Source: The Australian.
The Coalition will release a revised draft before the end of the year to take into account issues that have been raised during the consultation process, with the bill to be introduced in 2020.
Archbishop Fisher supported the decision to delay the bill for further consideration.
A spokesperson for the Church said: “The Archbishop of Sydney has said (of the bill’s delay) that he is pleased that the government has listened to the concerns of people of faith and welcomes the opportunity for further consultation and looks forward to seeing the second exposure draft very soon.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the decision will allow further opportunity for further engagement for interested parties.
Mr Morrison said it’s “about listening and getting it right”.
“Our Government takes the issue of discrimination against Australians for their religious beliefs very seriously,” he said in a statement on Saturday.
“We made a commitment to Australians to address this issue at the last election and we are keeping faith with that commitment in a calm and considered process.
“Our government will continue to proceed on the basis of good faith with a view to having a balanced and common-sense bill that protects the important religious freedoms that Australians can sadly no longer take for granted.”
His statement came as Nine newspapers on Saturday reported religious leaders are threatening to withdraw support from the bill unless greater freedoms are granted to Australians of faith.
In a draft letter obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald, a coalition of religious groups says: “We take the view that it would be better to have no Religious Discrimination Act rather than a flawed one.”
Church welcomes revised religious freedom bill (The Australian)
Morrison delays religious discrimination bill until 2020 (Sydney Morning Herald)