Anthony Albanese vows to 'address the issues of religious discrimination' as he declares 'I respect people of faith'

Anthony Albanese vows to ‘address the issues of religious discrimination’ as he declares ‘I respect people of faith’

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has vowed to address the issue of religious discrimination during this term of Parliament.

Mr Albanese made the pledge on Tuesday while speaking to reporters outside a church in Canberra ahead of the first sitting of the 47th Parliament.

The Prime Minister had been asked a question about what his message was to religious communities across Australia.

“That I respect people of faith. That all people, regardless of their faith, should be respected,” he responded.

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“That’s something I have always done And something that my Government will do as well.”

Mr Albanese said legislation concerning religious discrimination will be introduced to Parliament within the next three years.

“We will address the issues of religious discrimination and the need to legislate there. We’ll do that during the term of Parliament,” he said.

“We’ll do it in a way which is much more consultative and brings people together in a way that I hope characterizes the way my Government functions.”

Religious discrimination has been a hotly contested political issue in recent times.

The former Morrison government attempted to get its Religious Discrimination Bill (2021) over the line earlier this year.

The bill passed the lower house in February after a 10-hour long Parliament sitting which saw five Liberal MPs cross the floor to vote with Labor on improving protections for transgender students.

But the Coalition swiftly shelved the bill before it was debated in the Senate.

Meanwhile, Mr Albanese hailed the first sitting of the new Parliament as a “momentous day”.

“I said on election night, on May 21, that Australians voted for change and indeed they did. And we have a mandate to implement that change,” he said.

“A mandate to deal with the challenge of climate change, by taking up the opportunities that are there.

“A mandate to have 10 days paid domestic and family violence leave. To create Jobs and Skills Australia, to address cost of living challenges that are out there, by having cheaper child care and through other measures as well.”

Mr Albanese added he wanted “to see a Parliament that functions much better than the last one” and “more unity, less division”.


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