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Government's religious freedom review won't report until May

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has extended the reporting date for the government’s religious freedom review.

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The Prime Minister announced yesterday that the Philip Ruddock led review will not be expected to report until May, due to the sheer number of submissions to the panel. The panel was originally due to report its findings by March 31st.

“The response from individuals and organisations has been unprecedented – with more than 16,000 public submissions received. In light of the volume of submissions, I have agreed to this extension to ensure that the Panel has adequate time to carefully consider the issues raised,” the Prime Minister said in a statement.

“While it was anticipated that the original deadline of 31 March would be met, the number of submissions has made this impossible. I would like to thank the Expert Panel for its work. I look forward to receiving the final report by 18 May, 2018.”

A number of LGBTI advocacy groups have raised concerns over the review, including the Perth branch of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).

PFLAG’s Michele Davis has described the sessions as being “polite and respectful” but said she was worried about the level of knowledge the panel had about LGBTI mental health issues.

The Australian Greens have also called on former Liberal MP Philip Ruddock to step down as chair of the panel, after being named President of the NSW Liberals.

 

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