In late July, the Australian Family Coalition shared that outgoing Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon was behind a push to abolish the 117-year-old tradition of prayers in the Senate.
Her actions resulted in a parliamentary inquiry, and the committee called for public submissions.
In response, we launched a campaign, asking AFC supporters to lodge a submission using our webform – and we were overwhelmed by the response from people all over Australia.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this campaign!
We are pleased to announce that the committee found there was no reason to change this tradition.
This means the Greens have no chance of progressing their motion – and the Senate will continue to start their day with the Lord's Prayer.
“The committee does not consider, on the evidence before it and after its own deliberations, that there is a momentum for change,” wrote the Committee chair, Labor Senator Sue Lines, in the final report.
“The committee therefore does not recommend that the amendments proposed in the reference should be adopted.”
As you may recall, Senator Rhiannon wanted to replace prayers with a call to “reflection”.
A key point from the AFC submission, written in direct response to Senator Rhiannon’s suggestion, was paraphrased in the committee’s report as follows:
“An invitation to reflection is a ‘weak’ or ‘insipid’ alternative to the current prayer, and will not remind senators of their responsibilities to serve Australians.”
As we argued in our submission, retaining prayers is an acknowledgement that Christian values have forged this country and continue to serve as a moral compass for decision making – regardless of an individual’s faith.
Removing this daily reminder removes that guide.
Thank you again to everyone who contributed to this inquiry. It’s really encouraging to be able to defend an important tradition such as this.
We appreciate your continued support!
The Australian Family Coalition
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