Shorten demands release of Rudock Review ahead of Wentworth by-election

Opposition leader Bill Shorten says he can’t believe that the Prime Minister has not ruled out creating new laws that target gay, bisexual and transgender students.

“I can’t believe that any Prime Minister hasn’t ruled out creating new laws that discriminate against kids in education.” Shorten said describing the recommendations of the Ruddock Review as “silly”.

The Morrison government has refused to release the Ruddock Review into religious freedom despite it having been delivered close to five months ago. Overnight details of what the report recommends were leaked in a report by Fairfax Media.

One of the recommendations is the introduction of federal laws that would allow schools to turn away gay, bisexual and transgender students.

“I think it’s a silly proposal.” Shorten told reporters this morning. “This whole Ruddock Review has been cloaked in secrecy. They invited the public to make submissions, that happened. The government received the report in May. The xperts have written the report. It’s now been five months and Mr Morrison is keeping a secret report under lock and key until after the Wentworth by-election.”

Bill Shorten said the government should make the report public immediately.  “If you’re not planning anything nasty, reveal the report before the Wentworth by-election. If you’re not going to do anything nasty, then be upfront with the Australian people.”

Shorten said by not releasing report the Prime Minister was sending a clear message to voters in Wentworth that he does not think they can be trusted.

“It’s an expert report. What could be in that report that is so bad that it has to remain hidden?” Shorten asked.

Shorten said the suggestion that children should be discriminated against on the basis of their sexuality was not an idea the Australia people would support.

“No way, the fact of the matter is that every child is entitled to human dignity. We shouldn’t even be having this debate.” Shorten said.

The Opposition Leader said the same stance applied to teachers who were employed by religious based schools.

“There should be no extension of discriminatory rights against people in this country, Mr Morrison said recently he wants everyone to love each other. It’s not very loving to hide a report from the Australian voter and propose new discriminations against parts of the Australian population.”

Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus said it was clear the reason the government weas trying to keep the report under wraps was because it would lead to division within coalition ranks.

“The government has sat on this report since May and refused to release it, despite Labor requests – apparently too afraid to unleash internal divisions within the coalition.” Dreyfus said.

So far this morning Coalition MPs have expressed a variety of views on the leaked proposals.

Special Minister of State Alex Hawke has claimed that religious based schools should be able to remove gay, bisexual and transgender students and teachers because parents want an education option that is free of Marxist agendas.

Dave Sharma, the Liberal’s candidate in the upcoming Wentworth by-election has declared he opposed to any form of discrimination being introduced.

‘I would be opposed to any new measures that impose forms of discrimination of the basis of gender or sexual orientation, or anything else for that matter.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he believed the government would get the balance right, and said they was currently no proposal from the government to change existing laws.

OIP Staff