Hockey Budget 2014 – $245 million for chaplains??

angryIf I’ve been quiet about the 2014 Budget, it’s only because the wrong was so obvious. Today, however, The Daughter alerted me to something that seems to have slipped past in the general furor – chaplains.

There is currently a High Court challenge regarding the legitimacy of the Commonwealth funding chaplains at all. Let me rephrase that – according to the constitution, the Federal Government did not have the right to fund chaplains in schools. To read more about the background to this challenge follow the link below :

One of the things you will find on that website is this :

“Within the LNP coalition budget announced on 13 May 2014, in spite of overall cuts to education funding, the top school spending outlay was $245 million to finance the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) across four years to commence in 2015. This brings the total amount expended upon, or committed to the NSCP since 2007 to $670,000,000.” That is perilously close to one billion dollars.

Let me put those numbers into some kind of context – the disabled will be put on NewStart to ‘encourage’ them to find work. This will free up quite a bit of money. Quite a big chunk of money will then be handed out to religious bodies – despite the fact that said funding is not allowed by the constitution.

Excuse me? Did I just land in the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party?

Now I know that a lot of parents are religious. Those parents probably don’t see anything wrong with the government funding the Chaplaincy program.

But the devil is always in the detail. You see these chaplains don’t represent every religious body in Australia. As far as I know, they do not include Rabbi’s, or Imams, or Buddhist monks, or priests of the Greek Orthodox Church, or Hindu priests or any of the lesser known religions. So if your kids belong to any of these religions  then you’re out of luck because the Chaplaincy program doesn’t give two hoots about your kids.

But wait, there’s more. The Chaplaincy program also doesn’t give two hoots about kids who fall into the LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans] category either. In fact, such kids are seen as evil. The Chaplains believe they must be rooted out, or ‘cured’. That is their definition of caring for these kids.

Has a light bulb gone off in any heads yet? <<heavy sarcasm>>

Yes, this is exactly how anti-gay sentiments are propagated in the US. This is exactly how non-LGBT kids are encouraged to bully the ‘bad seeds’ in their midst. This is exactly how the most vulnerable of our youth are pushed to the point of suicide.

And guess what? We’re paying for it all.

Joe Hockey wants us to tighten our belts for the common good, but he and Tony Abbott are the ones who define that common good. Apparently it’s good for Australia to fund paid maternity leave for upper middle class mums who can already afford not to work for six months. And it’s also good for Australia to fund a Chaplaincy Program that excludes huge parts of our population, and is patently against the constitution. But apparently uni students, pensioners and the disabled are parasites who just suck the life out of the country.

Really? Well that is a version of Australia I refuse to accept. We’re better than that.






About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

22 responses to “Hockey Budget 2014 – $245 million for chaplains??

  • metan

    As a decidedly non-religious person I hate the thought of money being poured in the direction of a single set of narrow minded beliefs.

    I would much rather see funds (definitely not so many though!) being spent on religious instruction that teaches kids about the wide variety and history of religions and belief systems in the world rather than concentrating on the one who has the most friends in government at the moment. Knowing about religions isn’t the the problem, it is only when people start believing their way is the only way that the intolerance begins. 😦


    • metan

      Oh yeah, and as for the budget…. What on earth is there to say? Bleh. 😦
      Who’da thought that a mining billionaire who no-one took seriously wouldn’t prove to be the most ridiculous face in government…. . All hope is lost. :/


      • acflory

        Bleh is right. The thing that scares me is that I’m actually starting to think Clive Palmer can’t be all bad. 😦


        • metan

          I’m beginning to think the same thing. Just shows the depths of our despair.

          When Clive arrived for work the other day in his chauffeur driven vintage Rolls Royce I laughed my head off. I think his budget-condemning comment was something along the lines of “I don’t need a comm car, politicians get paid enough to use their own vehicles.” It was an attention seeking stunt but it was still great stuff.

          If Tony had turned up in his own luxury vehicle I (and probably most of the population) would have screamed and thrown something at the telly. I don’t think there is much Clive could do to look truly bad with the rest of them going on like they are.


          • acflory

            I noticed he arrived in something like a red Ferrari? Lamborgini? in the latest news clips. I’m a bit disappointed he doesn’t like Porsches. 😀

            And no, he doesn’t look over the top at all in the present climate.


    • acflory

      Agree completely, Metan. Isn’t it odd how ignorance and intolerance always seem to go hand in hand?


  • anne54

    I so agree. With all the talk about the budget, this is one that has escaped so far.
    Great comment from Someone. So honest and brave.


  • Anonymous

    i am a 17 year old senior LGBT student in Australia and i am currently conducting my research project on why and how young people need to have more education to break down the barriers to better accept LGBT people. it is 2014 it is the time for change. with this clown running our country we are all fucked. think about every single young person who may be questioning their sexuality of gender and reaching out to their school for help and advise to then be told that they are wrong or “need to be cured” this then will continue to instil bullying and discrimination towards these children. which then leads to mental health issues and eventually suicide. i know that without the support of my school and councilor i might not be here today and im so scared that there is kids out there just like me who will go through the same thing and miss out on the wonderful support i have got. i have had my fair share of people telling me that who i am is wrong, luckily i am strong but please just think of all of those kids out there who are LGBT and need support not homophobic/transphobic people telling them they have a disease that needs to be cured.


    • acflory

      Thanks Someone. You’ve put your finger right on the middle of the problem – those assigned to care for our kids at school should

      a) Know what they’re doing – i.e. be properly trained/qualified
      b) NOT have any ingrained biases
      c) Be there to care…not /convert/

      The chaplaincy program fails on all three.

      Stay strong, Someone and keep speaking out. LGBT kids need to know there is light and hope at the end of the tunnel.


  • EllaDee

    “Take some more tea,” the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
    “I’ve had nothing yet,” Alice replied in an offended tone, “so I can’t take more.”
    “You mean you can’t take less,” said the Hatter: “it’s very easy to take more than nothing.”
    “Nobody asked your opinion,” said Alice.” …

    Yup… mad hatters tea party 😉


  • Candy Korman

    In the U.S. we have a constitutional separation of Church & State… Or do we? There seem to be constant incursions of the religious into secular life, and as you’ve described, it’s not often a pan-religious idea, it’s the dominant ideology. Over and over again right wing politicians draw upon the fears of conservative religious voters, fanning their fears of people who are different and that the U.S. is straying too far from our founding principles.

    Of course, if they actually read the founding principles, they’d notice that inherent in the freedom to practice religion — any religion — is the freedom from having to practice (and fund) the religious practices of others.

    I didn’t know that Australia had a similar, ongoing saga.


    • acflory

      We are supposed to have a clear separation between church and state as well – operative words being ‘supposed to’. When my daughter was little, she went to a public primary school that was heavily Baptist influenced. And they had RE [religious education]. I didn’t learn until many years later that she had been bullied by some of the kids for ‘not believing in god’, or perhaps for having the gall to say it out loud. It’s a subject rather close to my heart.


  • Honie Briggs

    Not being familiar with the “player” I assumed you were talking about the sport of hockey and HAD to find out why hockey teams need such well paid chaplains. Well, now I know better. Nice rant, Meeks!


    • acflory

      -giggles- I’m sorry Honie! I didn’t see that connection at all until you mentioned it. Duh. 🙂 My first boyfriend played hockey, but that was um…. never mind. When you start counting in decades it’s time to stop counting!


  • davidprosser

    I’m fully with you on this Meeka. The church receives funding directly from the populace in collections etc and since there is a separation ( supposedly) between church and State then the Government should not be funding members of religious institutions.If they must do that then they should include funding for members of all religions and have them teach in schools.It would be a good way to give the children a better understanding of other religions too and provide them with choices.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


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