This campaign has now concluded.
Several weeks ago, the ACT Government announced the forcible takeover of Calvary Hospital in Canberra.
Despite a massive outcry, legislation to allow Calvary’s compulsory acquisition has now passed the Territory’s Parliament.
The ABC has quoted the Australian Medical Association as supporting the takeover, believing it was “important to deliver public healthcare services without being bound by ideology.”
What ideology? Presumably the offensive “ideology” is a pro-life view of healthcare.
The Canberra Liberals’ acting leader Jeremy Hanson was scathing, declaring it “impossible not to conclude that there is an element that involves an attack on faith.”
The takeover is set to occur on 3 July.
This is one of the most serious attacks on the role of Christians in Australian public life to date.
For years, groups like AFC have sounded the alarm bells over attacks on religious freedom.
From so-called conversion therapy laws to assaults on the rights of faith-based schools and the parents who choose them – the attacks have come thick and fast.
So, what makes this case so important?
- They’re not even demanding that a faith-based service dump its beliefs in order to keep its doors open – they are simply KICKING THEM OUT.
- If it can happen to a faith-based hospital, what’s next? Aged care facilities, charities and not-for-profits, tertiary institutions, and – to point out the glaringly obvious – schools?
- It proves how utterly devoid of legal protection faith has become in this country. So much for all those hollow promises of religious freedom laws.
Historically, the seizure of church properties and services has been the hallmark of totalitarian regimes worldwide – and now we’re seeing it in Australia.
To their credit, the Catholic bishops have been vocal in the face of this attack. This is very encouraging. Legal action has also been threatened.
People are lobbying, but it’s nowhere near enough given the threat – and it’s largely falling on deaf ears.
The ACT Government has no upper house to even try and keep it in check, hence the legislation passing without so much as a hurdle.
The Prime Minister has also failed to intervene despite requests.
HOWEVER, there IS a way to stop the takeover of Calvary Hospital: the Federal Parliament has the power to intervene.
Under section 122 of the Australian Constitution, the Federal Parliament “may make laws for the government of any territory” – including, obviously, the Australian Capital Territory.
In other words, YOUR LOCAL FEDERAL MP AND SENATORS have the power to stop the forcible takeover of Calvary Hospital.
This is why, whatever petitions and other good efforts you may have already contributed to, we urge you to use our form to tell your federal representatives to intervene.
By taking action, not only can we condemn this shocking overreach, but we also put our federal MPs and Senators on notice.
We haven’t forgotten their collective lack of action in protecting freedom of religion and belief. And with the next federal election already approaching, it’s high time we put this issue firmly back on the agenda.
Please use our form to send an urgent message to your local federal MP and your local senators. It only takes 2 minutes!