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Religious Freedom Bills – Second Exposure Drafts

Consultation

Closing date

The Australian Government invited submissions on the second exposure drafts of a package of legislation on religious freedom between 10 December 2019 and 31 January 2020. These are the:

  • Religious Discrimination Bill 2019
  • Religious Discrimination (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2019
  • Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Freedom of Religious) Bill 2019

Information on the first public consultation process on these bills can be found on the Religious Freedom Bills – first exposure drafts page.

On 13 December 2018, the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General released the Report of the Religious Freedom Review. The review made several recommendations and concluded that there is an opportunity to further protect and better promote freedom of religion under Australian law and in the community. In its response, the Australian Government committed to a range of measures to implement the review's recommendations.

This response forms the basis of the legislative package on freedom of religion, which includes the:

  • Religious Discrimination Bill
  • Religious Discrimination (Consequential Amendments) Bill, and
  • Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Freedom of Religion) Bill.

On 29 August 2019, the Attorney-General released the first exposure drafts of the bills. A public submission process on the package of legislation was open between 29 August and 2 October 2019, and received close to 6,000 submissions, including a number of campaign-based submissions. In addition, the Attorney-General held consultative discussions, during which he met with 90 interested stakeholders, including representatives from church, legal and community groups.

The consultation process demonstrated that the Australian community is generally supportive of the proposition that discrimination based on a person’s religion is not acceptable and should be prohibited. However, as with any topical issue before the Parliament, there is a wide range of views on the legislation, and this diversity of opinion was reflected in the responses to the exposure draft legislation.

The bills were amended to take account of the feedback received during consultation and released for a second exposure draft consultation period.

Use of your information

The information you give us will help to develop the package of legislative reforms. It will only be used for this purpose.

We may publish your submission, unless you request for it to remain confidential, or if we consider (for any reason) that it should not be made public. We may redact parts of published submissions, as appropriate. You can also ask for your submission to be published anonymously.

Personal information

We will collect personal information so that we can verify submissions are not duplicates, and to provide advice to government. If you wish to remain anonymous or use a pseudonym, let us know when you send in your submission.

Refer to our privacy policy to find out more.

Note: We cannot resolve individual disputes or provide advice on any examples of potential discrimination.

Make an enquiry

Email: FoRConsultation@ag.gov.au

If you experience issues accessing any document on this page, please contact FoRConsultation@ag.gov.au for assistance.​​​​

Submissions

Submissions received for the Religious Freedom Bills – second exposure drafts consultation

Submission
We received approximately 7,000 submissions, including a number of campaign-based submissions. The department has published over 290 submissions. These represent the majority of submissions received (5,102) including all submissions from organisations and all campaign-based submissions.
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