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Tuesday, 31 August 1993
Page: 655


Senator FOREMAN —by leave—On behalf of Senator Crowley, I present to the Senate the following petitioning letters similar in wording which are not in conformity with the standing orders from 82, 25, 12 and 10 citizens requesting that the Senate take action to remove the United Nations conventions on the rights of the child and religious intolerance from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act:

31st July, 1993

Senator R. Crowley,

Parliament House,

CANBERRA. ACT. 2600

Dear Senator,

We, the undersigned as Australian citizens, are very concerned—

  1.  That treaties which have recently been made Australian Law have the potential to cause family disharmony and reduce religious freedom in this country.

  2.  We believe that significant changes in Australian Law should have full parliamentary debate and not merely be posted as notice in the Gazette.

Therefore we request you to—

  (a)  Vote to disallow the UN Child Rights Convention and Religious Declaration from the HREOC Act.

  (b)  Ensure that in future no such changes to Australian law be made without full debate and vote in parliament.

Yours humbly,

12.8.93

Senator Rosemary Crowley,

Dear Madam,

  As our elected representatives to the Senate we respectfully request that you register your vote to DISALLOW the United Nations Childs Rights Convention and Religious Declaration from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission Act.

  Notices inserting these U.N. treaties into law were Gazetted on January 13 and February 1993.

  It is our belief that these treaties have the potential to cause family disharmony and reduce religious freedom in Australia.

7.8.93

3/57 Esplanade,

Christie's Bch,

SA. 5165.

Dear Rosemary Crowley,

  I am writing to you to ask you to vote to disallow the UN Child Rights & Religion treaties from the HREOC ACT. I myself & several others feel very strongly about these issues.

12 August 1993.

Mr. J. Ide.,

4 Blackburn St;

Reynella.

S.A. 5161.

Parliament House,

Canberra;

A.C.T. 2600.

Dear Senator Crowley,

  We the undersigned are very concerned about the proposal to insert into Australian law the UN Child Rights Convention and Religion Declaration.

While we acknowledge that in some cases it is obviously necessary to protect our children from abuse, this does not give Governments the right, by legislation, to remove the responsibility from parents to guide and discipline their children.

We are concerned also with the anti-discrimination legislation that could see people being appointed to the staff of religious organisations churches, christian schools etc; that are directly opposed in their beliefs to that of the religious organisation. Would that same criteria be applied, we wonder, to the appointment of a person to some sensitive area of Government or national security? Surely the lives of our families are equally as important and we should have the right to choose the environment in which our students or religious practitioners will be influenced.

We respectfully request therefore that you, as our representative in Federal Parliament, vote against the above mentioned proposal.

A further concern is that such proposed changes to the rights of Australian citizens can be affected without public debate and we therefore urge you to table all possible steps to ensure that changes to laws that affect the well-being of the total community and not just some minority groups are fully debated and made available for public comment before they become part of the laws of Australia.

Yours respectfully,