Following his appointment as NSW Liberal Party president, the Greens have called on Phillip Ruddock to step down or be stood down by the PM as the chair of the government’s expert panel into religious freedoms due to conflict of interest.
“Philip Ruddock becoming NSW Liberal President makes his position as chair of the Religious Freedom Review untenable,” said Senator Nick McKim, the Greens justice spokesperson.
“It is evidence of clear political bias and gives the lie to any claim of independence.”
“He should immediately offer his resignation from the Review panel, and if he doesn’t, Mr Turnbull should sack him.”
“This review was set up while the Coalition tore itself apart over the issue of religious freedoms during the marriage equality debate,” said Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens LGBTIQ spokesperson.
“There’s certainly room for a conversation about freedom of thought, religion and conscience in this country, but we must make sure these don’t come at the expense of other rights and freedoms from discrimination,”
“This issue is particularly keenly felt by our LGBTIQ communities, who are still subject to a number of state and federal laws that allow discrimination by religious and faith-based bodies.”
“Ruddock’s new position with the NSW Liberals undermines any intent for the review to provide unbiased advice to the Government.”