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Election Survey - Victoria 2010 - Q6

Q6 - Equal opportunity laws

Would you vote to repeal the inherent requirement provision and support measures to restore freedom of religion in Victoria?


Party Reply  Score
 Australian Labor Party

After consultation with Churches of all faiths, the Brumby Labor Government introduced changes to the Equal Opportunity Act which better balance the right of individuals to be free from discrimination, with the right to religious freedom.  The changes still allow religious bodies to require that staff adhere to the values of the religious organisation, where doing so is an inherent requirement of the job on offer, taking into account the faith and doctrine of the organisation.

Liberal-National Party

A Liberal-Nationals Coalition Government will restore the rights of freedom of religion and freedom of association in relation to faith-based schools and other organisations by removing the “inherent requirements” test which Labor has imposed.   We will also remove the sweeping the sweeping coercive powers of investigation that Labor has given to the equal opportunity commission.

We believe Labor’s changes to the Equal Opportunity Act undermine the freedom of parents across Victoria to provide their children with an education that reflects their values and beliefs.

The government’s double standard in this move is highlighted by the fact that the legislation expressly leaves government Ministers free to continue to discriminate in selecting staff for their own offices based on political beliefs, without any “inherent requirement” test.

The legislation also gives the VEOHRC more powers to lay hands on documents and interrogate the staff or volunteers of a business, school or social club than our police force has to investigate the worst of criminals. 

Democratic Labor Party

Yes, definitely.  Clause 8:  In social policy the DLP shall recognise the rights and responsibilities that rest with individuals, families and the local community ought not to be relegated to larger social agencies or the state.

Clause 11a: The DLP shall uphold principles of democracy intended to maintain responsible government, representative parliaments and the fundamental liberties of conscience, equality, justice and the rule of law.

Clause 16: To protect the fundamental and inalienable rights of each person embodied in the common law, statute and tradition - to life, to the essentials of liberty of conscience, to equality and natural justice.

Christian Democratic Party

Yes, definitely.

Family First Party

Yes, definitely.

The Greens

The Greens support the right of individuals to express their faith in accordance with their religious doctrines, beliefs and principles.  The Greens also strongly support human rights laws.  Giving absolute primacy to freedom of religion over the entire range of other rights would not be necessary for the ordinary operations of religious organisations, and would serve to undermine the very basis of the human rights system itself.

Australian Sex Party

The Australian Sex Party does not believe religious freedom includes the right to discriminate against people.   If organisations cannot continue their work without infringing on the human rights of individuals, we would question the ethics of their practice.


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


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