Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his government is issuing revised draft religious discrimination laws before the end of the year.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his government is issuing revised draft religious discrimination laws before the end of the year.

Morrison revises religion laws as criticism grows

The Morrison government will be issuing revised draft religious discrimination laws before the end of the year to take into account issues that have been raised during the consultation process.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the decision was taken earlier this week and will allow further opportunity for further engagement for interested parties.

Mr Morrison said it's "about listening and getting it right".

"Our government takes the issue of discrimination against Australians for their religious beliefs very seriously," the prime minister said in a statement on Saturday.

"We made a commitment to Australians to address this issue at the last election and we are keeping faith with that commitment in a calm and considered process."

His statement came as Nine newspapers on Saturday reported religious leaders are threatening to withdraw support from the bill unless greater freedoms are granted to Australians of faith.

In a draft letter obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald, a coalition of religious groups says: "We take the view that it would be better to have no Religious Discrimination Act rather than a flawed one."

As the prime minister was releasing his statement, Labor frontbencher Kristina Keneally was addressing journalists in Sydney.

"This draft exposure bill seems quite friendless. I have yet to see any wholehearted or enthusiastic support coming from either religious organisations, equality groups or the business community," Senator Keneally said.

"It would suggest that the Morrison Government has some significant problems in relation to delivering on their commitment to deliver a religious discrimination bill before the end of the year."

Parliament sits for the final time this year next week.


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