Federal

Jun 21, 2012

Chaplains outcome another belated loss for the Howard govt

The High Court's decision yesterday on the Williams schools chaplains case isn't exactly a bombshell, but it will make life for the Commonwealth a little more difficult -- and unnecessarily so.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The High Court’s decision yesterday on the Williams schools chaplains case isn’t exactly a bombshell, but it will make life for the Commonwealth a little more difficult — and unnecessarily so. It also strengthens the case for constitutional recognition of local government.

In short, the court found that by simply assuming it was able under the constitution to fund anything that it could have funded if there was legislation for it, the Commonwealth had erred: there didn’t just need to be a sort of possibility of legislation, but actual legislation. Nor was simply appropriating the money via an appropriation bill sufficient to do the trick.

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58 comments

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58 thoughts on “Chaplains outcome another belated loss for the Howard govt

  1. The Pav

    The failure of Chaplains program and your comment on Howard played fast & loose shodhould be yet another nail in the coffin that conations the myth that the Howard Govt was in any waya capable money manager.

    It also makes laughable that Abbott should presume to have any economic credentials.

    You shouldn’t be surprised that the MSM hasn’t acted on the advertising scandal. Hardly surprisng since they were the main beneficiaries.

    Is this how Howard bought support of News Ltd?

  2. Charles Richardson

    And of course don’t forget Plaintiff M70/2011 v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, which invalidated offshore processing. So nice of them to wait until Howard was no longer in office.

  3. Bill Hilliger

    Don’t forget Howard had control of the senate during the last stage of his term in office. In a round about way it was to lead to his demise. Wonderful stuff.

  4. Holden Back

    Howard Government booby-traps. There’s a series of articles I’d like to see on Crikey.

  5. David Allen

    I can’t believe how much skin this government is prepared to lose in hanging on to Howard policies.

  6. Michael de Angelos

    Absent in the MSM is any mention of Tony Abbott’s role in these disasters as a senior Minister in the Howard government for all those years.

    And of course Kim Williams CEO of News Ltd scoffs at the claims of anti-Labor bias in his newspapers.

  7. James K

    Does this high court decision muck things up for the commonwealth to fund other programs in schools? Anti-bullying programs? Putting money into more welfare workers in schools? Anti-taking drugs programs? all that?

    it might be a success for those who wanted to have a shot at chaplaincy in schools, but … at what cost really?

  8. Anoise Mike

    And yet the program is so popular in schools because it’s another councillor (usually with little/dubious professional training) the that school gets , in this case for free.

  9. James K

    Anoise: the level of training of chaplains, depends mostly on the state they are in. Here in Victoria, most chaplains are placed by the group called ACCESS and they expect solid training and continue with ongoing professional development for their people. Their chaplains will usually have at least a Bachelors in Counselling or something similar (sometimes a Bachelors in Education instead).

    Some chaplains in Vic are not placed by ACCESS and are just found by the individual schools.

    But ACCESS train their chaplains to be servants to the school community, and to never discriminate between any kids or families, and to professionally input the needs of that community. So they will journey with troubled teens who might be doing things that they (as Christian ministers or lay persons would not usually do) – but they are not to be judgmental or critical, but rather support and assist the person as the person seeks their way forward.

    A survey of all schools across Australia that have chaplains, asked the principals if they were happy with their chaplains: 97% said yes, please let us keep them. I dont know of any other program with that much support at school level across the board.

    Some fundamentalists seem to have got into the Qld lot, though, and hence this court case. It really depends a lot on who is placing the chaplains – of course – even then – the schools make the final decision and they say yes or no to any chaplain offered to them.

    And that is a postive feature of the system: they are only in schools that want them. it is the school’s call in the end, not Mr Howards or any govt’s. There are issues of funding and church and state and all that, that are important issues too. But we can at least be grateful that schools make the decision or not, to have them. No chaplain is imposed on a reluctant school community.

  10. Hamis Hill

    Re the constitutional lack of recognition for local government.
    I smell a rat after reading Prof. Edward Shann’s The Economic History of Australia.
    The original source of revenue for the pre-federation Crown Colonies was the sale of Crown lands.
    These revenue raising powers, which include rezoning powers, have now devolved to the local government level.
    The re-zoning profits, which are huge, now tend to accrue to private interests who have an “interest” to contest and win control of local governments where they they are then free to pursue and win the re-zoning profits which formerly went to the Crown.
    The suppression of Edward Shann’s work, which aimed at raising the knowledge and understanding of ordinary citizens, seems to me to verify the presence of rats.
    If there is, as a result of recent court decisions a successful campaign to constitutionally recognise local government then all profits from rezoning in particular must revert to the people of Australia
    through the Crown.
    As for direct funding to local government by the Feds Whitlam started that game to discountenance the conservative states.
    Conservative states who consistently do nothing to return rezoning profits to the Crown as happened in colonial times. Ian Temby QC found that “A climate conducive to corruption” existedn local government when working as NSW”S first Independent Commissioner Against Corruption.
    Here’s betting that none of the above wiil appear in the campaign to recognise local government
    in the constitution.The mire of corruption is much too deep.

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