A consultation called by Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese to discuss the proposed Religious Discrimination Bill has concluded with no clear outcome. In attendance were members of the Labor Party and key community stakeholders. 

Spokesperson for Equality Tasmania, Rodney Croome, commented to Star Observer immediately after the meeting: 

“The round table involved about 25 representatives from national peak bodies, including health services, human rights groups, law councils, unions, business lobbies, and women’s, LGBTIQ and disability advocacy groups,” said Croome. 

“My contribution was to outline the negative impact of the current debate on LGBTIQ people, explain the impact in Tasmania, and to call for Labor to oppose the bill outright as soon as possible, no deals, no conscience vote, no compromise.

“Anthony Albanese didn’t commit Labor to opposing the Bill, but he did hear the best arguments against it from some of Australia’s most influential advocates.”

“If, before the meeting, he held out any hope this Bill is redeemable, he won’t any more.”

Submissions expressing concerns, comments, and objections regarding the Bill close on January 31. Information about the Bill and a submissions link can be found on the Attorney General’s website. https://www.ag.gov.au/Consultations/Pages/religious-freedom-bills-second-exposure-drafts.aspx.

Submissions can also be made via the new PFLAG website: https://equalitynotdiscrimination.org

“I urge everyone concerned about the Bill to send in their views before submissions close Friday at 5pm,” says Croome.

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