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Election Survey - Victoria 2014 - Q5

Q5 - Freedom of Religion

Religious freedom is under threat, following proposals to weaken religious exemptions in the Equal opportunity Act. Religious bodies could be required to prove that living in accord with their beliefs is an 'inherent requirement' for their staff (such as maths teachers in a Christian school) - potentially undermining the religious body's ethos.

Would you support freedom of religion in Victoria by voting against any 'inherent requirement' provision in the Equal Opportunity Act?

Party Reply Score
 Australian Christian Party

Yes definitely.                                                                                                     
Australian Cyclists Party

No comment. 

Australian Sex Party

Definitely not.

Democratic Labour Party

Yes definitely.

Family First

Yes definitely.

Greens Party

Definitely not.


Labor Party

Definitely not.

Our commitment is to reintroduce the reforms made to the Equal Opportunity Act in 2010, which went through an extensive consultation process taking almost three years, and were broadly supported by many stakeholders including the Catholic Church.

There were certain exceptions to allow religious bodies, religious schools and individuals to discriminate in certain circumstances and strike a balance between the right to freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination.  The religious exceptions were developed following extensive consultation with faith groups and the community.

Religious groups will continue to be able to discriminate on the grounds of religious belief or activity, sex, sexual orientation, lawful sexual activity, marital status, parental status and gender identity if the action conforms with the religion’s doctrines, beliefs or principles or is reasonably necessary to avoid injuring the religious sensitivities of the religion’s adherents.

If a religious organisation wishes to discriminate in relation to employment, it will need to show that the discriminatory requirement is an inherent requirement of the particular position and that the person cannot meet that requirement because of an attribute.  In considering whether a requirement is an inherent requirement, the nature of the religious body or school will be taken into account.

Liberal-National Party

The Coalition is committed to upholding the current legislation that protects the freedom of faith-based schools and organisations to foster and encourage the values of their organisation through the hiring of staff who support and uphold those values. Labor's attack on freedom of belief and freedom of association will deny the right of hundreds of thousands of Victorian parents to send their children to schools that share their faith. It will also undermine Victoria's diverse, pluralist, multicultural and multi-faith society, which supports the rights of people of different faiths to establish organisations in accordance with their faith.

Rise Up Australia

Yes definitely.


Authorised by: David Phillips, FamilyVoice Australia, 4th Floor, 68 Grenfell St, Adelaide SA 5000


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