The Melbourne By-election has confirmed the power of the religious lobby in Australia. Federally, the ALP has increased funding to school chaplains. In Victoria the Baillieu government has increased funding to the evangelical group that provides both chaplains and religious instruction in schools.

The Gonski report on education suggested a standard resource per student, by which measure some rich private religious schools are grossly over-funded. The Labor Party sought to avoid any controversy by saying that no school would lose any funding.

Now, as a result of a scare campaign by the Catholic church for Melbourne By-election, the Greens have said, not only that no Catholic school will have any funding cut, but they will increase funding to Catholic schools. They have backed away from their own previous policy.

There is clearly only one party in Australia that is prepared to defend the principle of secularism. The separation of “church and state” means that religious organisations should not receive government support. Religions are inherently divisive and conflictual, and “no religion” is the fastest growing religion. Yet government financial support for religious organisations continues to increase.

There is only one way that voters can express their disapproval of this situation.

John Perkins
President and Secular Party candidate in Melbourne
Tel 0411 143744

The Secular Party of Australia
PO box 6004, Melbourne 8008


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