the non secular school policy
The Abbott government is pushing ahead with a religious-only school chaplaincy scheme following a cabinet debate over whether secular welfare workers should be included in the program.
The government was forced to redesign the $244 million scheme after the High Court ruled it invalid in June for the second time in two years. The court found the Commonwealth had over-reached its funding powers by providing direct payments to chaplain providers.
In a bid to prevent another High Court challenge, the federal government will provide funding to state and territory governments to administer the scheme. This new arrangement strengthens the hand of the states and could see some demand an option for secular welfare workers or tougher qualification standards.