Government moves to strengthen chaplaincy legislation
The Federal Government has introduced legislation before parliament that will aim to bolster the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program following the decision of the High Court in the Williams v the Commonwealth of Australia last week.
The High Court ruled that the funding arrangement exceeded Commonwealth powers and funding stood to be blocked.
The Government will introduce legislation to amend the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, and regulations under that act, to provide legislative authorisation for existing programs that have already been approved by the Parliament through the Appropriation Acts.
The legislation will also include a regulation-making power for additional programs that might be identified in the future. Such future regulations would be disallowable by the Parliament.
“Swift passage of this legislation through the Parliament this week will ensure payments under the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program can continue. This Program provides support to more than 3500 schools across Australia,” Minister for School Education Peter Garrett said in a statement.