Religion freedom

What Australians believe is really important for them and to me, whether you have a religious faith or you don’t. It doesn’t matter. But you shouldn’t be discriminated against in this country because of what you believe when it comes to religion. Now, we already have laws that protect people against discrimination for their gender or their race or things like this. And it’s important we do. But we also need to ensure that people of religious faith or no faith are not discriminated against. And that’s why before the election, I promised that we would have a religious discrimination act. Now, since the election, we’ve been hard at
work at that. The Attorney-General has produced a draft exposure bill, a draft law that we circulated to everybody, and we received hundreds and hundreds of submissions dealing with the many complex and difficult issues that are associated
with this issue. And I want to thank everyone for their feedback. What we decided to do earlier this week as a Government was we’re going to produce another draft of that law. So you can have further say on the changes that we’ve made by listening carefully to those who’ve made submissions. There were some important issues raised and not everybody and certainly not the government has the answer to every issue. That’s why we need to listen and work together to get this right. So we’re going to take a bit more time to
get this right. We’ll have that exposure draft bill out over the summer so people can respond again and next year we will bring a bill into the parliament to make it law. There’ll be some who’ll try and make this process more difficult or be opportunistic or try and derail it. They’re not engaging in good faith. I’m engaging in good faith with the Australian people and people of all different beliefs to ensure we can get this law right. It’s an important protection for our society in Australia. Religious faith has played a huge role in our society and continues to this day. It is very important to many, many Australians, including to me, but equally those who don’t have faith. Your view is as important as well. So I want to thank all of those who have engaged. I want to thank all of those who have played
a part. Let’s continue working together to get this
right. It’s really important. And while I’m here, Merry Christmas!

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