Reason Leader and Member for Northern Metropolitan Region, Fiona Patten, has lambasted calls by former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that the Australian Government should donate to the Notre Dame Restoration fund after the historic French site caught fire overnight.
Federal Labor Leader Bill Shorten agreed to the proposal on ABC radio this morning.
“The Catholic church is one of the wealthiest organisation in the world, they do not need government handouts. I’m sure with the money they have saved by not paying tax, the Australian Catholic Church can make a significant donation,” Ms Patten said.
Like all recognised religions, the Catholic church does not pay land tax, payroll tax and GST in Australia.
“What happened in Paris overnight was an absolute tragedy, but the taxpayer shouldn’t fund religious renovations. Do we want to check the Taj Mahal for termites? Does the Church of Scientology need another lick of paint?” she said.
Ms Patten welcomed Catholics and Francophiles donating to the restoration fund, and said she would rather our taxpayer money was spent funding transport in Whittlesea, schools in Fairfield and a tram in Reservoir.
“If Nostradamus predicted it, surely they’re insured?” she wondered.
Reason would like to remove tax breaks for religious businesses and to cancel the funding for religious chaplains in schools.
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