Australian Labor Party

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Ethics come in from the cold after Labor U-turn
Sydney Morning Herald, Amy McNeilage, Education reporter, 8 April 2013

Providers of ethics classes will be given the same tax deductions as for scripture classes, alleviating the threat of the lessons becoming financially unviable.

The federal government will announce on Monday that it has reversed its decision not to grant deductible gift recipient status to ethics providers, which means they will now be able to collect tax deductible donations.

Primary Ethics, which provides the classes in NSW schools, said the decision would enable it to train more volunteers and reach more students.

Last month Fairfax Media reported that the Labor government had rejected Primary Ethics’ request for gift recipient status and the organisation warned that lack of funds threatened the future of its program.

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Ethics class provider denied tax deductible donations
2nd March 2013, ABC News

The Federal Government has rejected a request from the provider of ethics classes in New South Wales schools to be eligible for tax-deductible donations.

Ethics classes were introduced as an alternative for students who opt out of scripture lessons.

Primary Ethics currently runs the classes for 7,000 primary school students in New South Wales.

The organisation was seeking deductible gift receipt status, which is a provision available to groups running scripture classes.

But Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury has written back to Primary Ethics, arguing that he did not think the concession was warranted.

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Ethics classes at risk as plea for tax relief refused
March 2, 2013, Josephine Tovey, Education Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald

THE future of ethics classes in NSW is in doubt, the provider says, after the federal government refused to allow it to collect tax-deductible donations in the same way providers of scripture classes in state schools do.

Funds established for providing religious instruction in public schools in Australia can claim Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status, a provision that is used by some religious groups to fund training and support for scripture classes in NSW.

The provider of ethics classes, Primary Ethics, which receives no government funding, made a special application to the federal government to also be granted DGR status, to fund ongoing training of its own volunteers and to develop its curriculum.

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Labor Senator says Govt should enshrine separation of church and state
Alexandra Kirk, January 16, 2013

SALLY SARA: Well the debate over the Federal Government’s proposed anti-discrimination legislation is heating up. Labor Senator Doug Cameron says the Government should enshrine the separation of church and state.

The draft human rights and anti-discrimination bill is currently being examined by a Senate inquiry. Some church leaders say the Prime Minister told them she has no intention of limiting religious freedom.

The Australian Christian Lobby’s Jim Wallace says Julia Gillard assured him that the status quo will remain.

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