Skip to main content
St Patrick’s Primary School, Villiers Street, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia on 22 July 2019

Independent Education Union—Queensland and Northern Territory (IEU-QNT) Branch Secretary Terry Burke said the union had strongly advocated for the removal of these exemptions.

“That religious exemptions have been retained in the revised Bill introduced to Queensland Parliament on 14 June 2024 is deeply distressing to our union and staff in faith-based schools,” Mr Burke said.

“These changes are needed to reflect community norms and the reality of modern life.

“It is outrageous to have women undergoing IVF treatment sacked from a non-government school because they want to have a child.

“The community has moved on, and we need legislation to reflect that.

“The Northern Territory government removed religious discrimination exemptions from its Anti-Discrimination Act in late 2022, and nothing disastrous has occurred.

“Faith-based schools are still operating, staff are still doing their jobs, and students continue to receive high-quality education.

“IEU members should have the same rights in Queensland.

“The vast majority of faith-based schools are more than capable of operating in the absence of these exemptions.

“The Queensland Government should remove these exemptions as part of changes to the Act to ensure the legislation better reflects community standards and expectations, particularly given many faith-based organisations receive public funds,” he said.

Mr Burke said employers still had opportunity, at point of engagement, to determine if an employee was suitable for the position advertised.

“That has always been the case – what needs to change is that an employer cannot exclude someone from consideration just because of who they are,” Mr Burke said.