Church seeks exemption for religious belief in misinformation bill

This story by Paul Sakkal  first appeared on WA Today on 19th September 2023.

Catholics and Muslims have raised the alarm about the potential for Labor’s new online misinformation laws to restrain the teaching of religious doctrine on issues such as euthanasia.

Concerns about the bill have been raised by a wide range of civil society groups. They centre on freedom of expression, broad definitions of misinformation, and sections that mean professional news organisations, governments and academics cannot be accused of misinformation.

Independent MP Zoe Daniel, a former journalist, said it was important to clamp down on false online information and slammed the Coalition for what she said was its fearmongering over the bill. However, she said the draft bill included definitions that may be too vague.

“This is an uncomfortable but necessary conversation, and any legislation must be carefully calibrated to help rebuild, not further erode, public trust. I say: don’t bin the bill; fix the bill,” she said in parliament on Monday.


More from Zoe