Australian religious freedoms under review

The Australian Government will examine whether Commonwealth laws adequately protect our religious freedoms and values.

 Northern based Government Senator Ian Macdonald said it is important the Australian way of life is protected into the future.

 “North and Far North Queensland are very successful examples of multi-culturalism and at the heart of our free and welcoming society is freedom of religion,” Senator Macdonald said.

 “I welcome the appointment of an Expert Panel, to be chaired by the Hon Philip Ruddock, to inform consideration of any necessary legislative reform.”

 In undertaking its review, the Expert Panel will:

  • consider the intersections between the enjoyment of the freedom of religion and other human rights;
  • have regard to any previous or ongoing reviews or inquiries that it considers relevant; and
  • consult as widely as it considers necessary.

Senator Macdonald said freedom of religion is an important right that should not be confused with religious extremism.

 “It is vital that the Australian Government gets the balance right to ensure our basic freedoms are protected for generations to come,” Senator Macdonald said.

 Submissions can be made at

The Expert Panel will report its findings by 31 March 2018.

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