I wish you well in the debate tomorrow and wish I could be there.
I have one thing I’d like to advance that I think is a key point of debate that I gravely fear is being overlooked.
It is this.
The law in NSW conveys a right to the child (and the child’s family) not to the church.
It is totally improper to treat ICCOREIS as if they have standing. There has been an inversion of policy and an assumption of rights, much as if someone simply moved onto your property and built a house without title and used it for so long that no one ever thought to ask them to produce a deed to the land.
ICCOREIS IS TRESSPASSING.
The church has no title to this hour. They have no deed. They have built ministry on property they don’t own. We have every right to demand they remove their improvements or be bulldozed.
The law was set up so that “children would not be prevented from getting religion” … and specifically the catholic children, who it was feared would be taught heresy by the orange.
Now you are going to face down Robert Haddad … and I would be grateful if you’d bring a stake and garlic to drive though his grasping clerical designs.
These youth ministries do NOT have rights. Only the children and families do.
You were invited in by the P&C to solve a discrimination problem. You have standing. The group you represent IS being denied something. The whole “don’t do anything while we teach” is wrong because they can not produce anyone who can say, I am being prevented from having what I have a right to.
By rights, for the church to have ANY standing on this matter they should have to be representing children who claim that their religious freedoms are being abridged by the action of the state.
No such children exist.
It is totally inverted to consider that these youth ministries who are fighting you have ANY right to set policy in the schools. The rights are there for the children, not for the church. No one ever conveyed a right to the church, they assumed it, as surely as they stole it.
This hour they claim is theirs … is worth 3% of 9 Billion Dollars. That is the total cost of the NSW schools system annual spend. The Church is claiming they have a right to one hour a week. That is worth 300 Million annually.
No one seems to question if the taxpayers actually agreed to this? They didn’t.
On the other hand, the Church was given the freedom to establish its own schools. Which it did. Later they clawed back state support, which you can argue is another act of tolerance and fairness and generosity by the state.
However, the state schools NEVER were established by negotiation with the church, it was out of consideration for the religious freedoms of the CHILDREN, that this provision exsits, not because the church has a prerogative.
Please, I’ve never heard anyone say this.
It is central to your claims. You must not give away this hour to the church. They have no right to it. They do not represent anyone IN the school. They represent the CHURCH … and the church simply has NO STANDING HERE.
Your opening move in the debate should be the same opening move that any good lawyer would make, get the whole thing tossed out because the plantiff has no standing. That is always the first question a lawyer asks. Do these appellants have standing. Do they have the right to be here?
In your case, the church has no standing.
I admire your open mind, your generous spirit and your thoughtful outlook.
Now, get the squatters off that land.