Most Australians have never lived under an authoritarian dictatorship, and therefore we are largely ignorant of how quickly dangerous situations may descend on us. This is why many turn a blind eye to the censorship of Christian organisations such as the ACL.

History shows us that government-censorship of non-state views is both the feature and precursor of authoritarian dictatorships. Fascist dictator — Benito Mussolini — once proclaimed a mantra frighteningly similar to the edict given by WA Premier Mark McGowan:

“Everything for the state. Nothing against the state. Nothing outside the state.”

Earlier this week (July 2021), the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) was banned from hiring a publicly funded venue in Albany, WA, because of its ‘politically motivated objectives.’ The ban follows an edict which was enforced by the McGowan government two days after their re-election. If this sounds frighteningly similar to George Orwell’s dystopian society as depicted in 1984, that’s because it is.

Managing Director of the ACL — Martyn Iles — shared on Sky News:

“It’s one rule for [Premier] Mark [McGowan] and one rule for everyone else.…the policy that the government has literally adopted for all of its publicly owned venues — which are all the best venues in WA — says that ‘if your views do not accord with the views of the state government, then you are cancelled. These are publicly owned, tax-payer funded venues.”

According to The Australian, the citizens of Albany contribute $400,000 of their taxes annually to the Perth Theatre Trust.

The DailyMail reports:

“Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan has banned any group that disagrees with his government from hosting events in state-funded facilities.

The exclusive venue hire policy was enforced just days after the state government’s definitive win in the March election.”

However, according to The Australian, prior to McGowan’s re-election, the very same facilities were rented out to WA Labor candidates.

This comes in addition to McGowan’s pre-election commitment to ‘ban gay conversion practices,’ which includes counselling Christians who struggle with same-sex attraction. 

The ACL has signalled that the WA Government’s behaviour violates the 1984 Equal Opportunity Act Section 62.

We now know that the ACL was successful in reversing the WA government’s attack on Christian freedoms, but no one ought to be so naïve as to think the matter has been settled, and the government has learnt its lesson..

Australia’s drift to becoming a nation in which only state-sanctioned opinions and convictions are permitted largely depends on whether Australians rise up to defend our precious freedoms.

                                                                           – James Jeffery