Following Martin Dixons announcement of a further grant of $220,000 to ACCESS Ministries, in early April community concerns relating to the ACCESS monopoly were discussed on The Drum.
An “issue which has been simmering for quite some time” according to ABC Religion and Ethics editor Scott Stephens. Unlike NSW Scott notes that ethics classes are not available. As Tim Palmer prompts, “They have to pick a religion or nothing”. With 96% of classes provided by ACCESS that choice is clearly made by default.
Describing Victorias legislation as “remarkable” in that it “guarantees secular, compulsory and free schooling”, Scott Stephens leads an interesting discussion. He covers the “red carpet” given to para-churches and the use of untrained, unskilled and theologically unaware volunteers in this “anomalous situation”. As many of us know, with funding comes pressure to spend – or more importantly – be seen to be spending. Stephens thus refers to Scott Hedges article and his comparison to the over funded insulation scheme, “effectively installing faulty religious products in our children’s minds”.
John Roskam and Fran Kelly raise sweeping secularisation and human rights respectively.
Tim Palmer hosts a discussion with ABC Radio National Breakfast host Fran Kelly, ABC Religion and Ethics editor Scott Stephens and John Roskam from the Institute of Public Affairs.