The Rationalist Society (a humanist group) has surfaced an interview Liberal MP Kevin Andrews gave to the conservative FamilyVoice Australia group suggesting the religious freedom legislation could be about to make a comeback.
The attorney general Christian Porter produced a second draft of this bill in December 2019 and was preparing to introduce it to parliament in early 2020 before the coronavirus overtook all government business.
The issue was raised at the Coalition party room last week, and Scott Morrison reiterated the Coalition’s commitment to the bill. No precise timeframe was put on it - and the government has missed its own deadlines in the past.
My understanding is that the attorney now has a bill ready to present to the parliament. And my hope is that this bill will be presented shortly because there’s only most of the year in this parliament to go ...
It’s a compromise in some regards because there are people with various issues and concerns but I think overall It is. If enacted, it would be a huge step in terms of protecting freedom of religion in Australia compared with where we are at the present time.”
We contacted Porter to ask if the bill will make a comeback.
The government’s immediate priorities are protecting the health of all Australians and addressing the unprecedented economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
The government will revisit its legislative program as the situation develops, and bring the religious discrimination bill forward at an appropriate time.”