Toowoomba man leads fight against chaplaincy funds

OPPONENTS of chaplaincy in Queensland state schools have vowed to fight a move to siphon funds meant for education into religious support programs.

A briefing paper being considered by the State Government has recommended public school principals be given the right to increase chaplaincy hours while cutting back on literacy and numeracy.

Toowoomba-based spokesman for the Secular Lobby Hugh Wilson said taxpayers' money should not be used to evangelise children in independent public schools.

"The situation at the moment is that education funding must be spent in its designated areas," he said.

"When I was involved in a P&C, we raised money to keep the school machinery functioning.

"We bought a swimming pool, the janitor's ute, a new mower and wired the school with broadband cabling.

"It's bad enough parents have to buy these essential things without the school spending its education money on religious chaplains."

Mr Wilson has rejected claims by the group which runs the chaplaincy programs that it is not a religious endeavour.

"The whole purpose of the Scripture Union is to evangelise children," he said.

"That's the inescapable reason for its existence."

A High Court hearing into the Constitutional legality of state-funded chaplaincy programs, led by Toowoomba man Ron Williams, is scheduled for December.



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