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This 24' documentary movie represents the most in-depth, accurate and revealing NSCP reference source available. It has been updated and extended to comprehensively cover the National School Chaplaincy Program from its announcement in June 2006, through to the second June 2014 High Court of Australia decision declaring the program to be constitutionally invalid.

Senate Inquiry

The National School Chaplaincy Program was the most irresponsible, outrageous and expensive political stunt ever foisted upon the taxpayers of Australia.

On 27 August 2014 the Federal Government announced that in order to circumvent the High Court decision of 19 June 2014, from 2015 an amount of $248.8 million would be made available to State and Territory Governments to participate in the National School Chaplaincy Program. According to the same ministerial statement by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education:

"The key change to the programme following the High Court decision is an administrative one – the National School Chaplaincy Programme will be funded by the Commonwealth but delivered by the States and Territories."

A senate inquiry must now be undertaken to investigate how, and why this absurd national disgrace, twice declared invalid by the High Court of Australia, was allowed to operate for seven years at a cost of almost a half a billion dollars.

During the course of my High Court proceedings, I have been approached by a number of persons providing, or offering to provide statements regarding their experiences as past employees, administrators or executives within the National School Chaplaincy Program system. Any person wishing to contribute such information can email me at: Your anonymity will be strictly protected throughout.


[19 June 2014] HCA 23

Today the High Court unanimously decided that legislation enacted by the Commonwealth Parliament which purported to provide legislative authority to make agreements for the outlay of public money, and to make payments under those agreements, is invalid in its operation with respect to a funding agreement between the Commonwealth and Scripture Union Queensland ("SUQ"). By that agreement, the Commonwealth was to pay SUQ to provide chaplaincy services at schools in Queensland.

In December 2010, Ronald Williams brought a proceeding in the High Court challenging the payment of money by the Commonwealth to SUQ for SUQ to provide chaplaincy services at the state school Mr  Williams' four children attended. In 2012, the Court held that  the funding agreement between SUQ and the Commonwealth, and the payments made under it, were not supported by the executive power of the Commonwealth under s 61 of the Constitution.

Soon after the Court made orders in that proceeding, the Parliament enacted the Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Act (No 3) 2012 (Cth) ("the FFLA Act"). The FFLA Act amended the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (Cth) ("the FMA Act") and the Financial Management and Accountability Regulations 1997 (Cth) ("the FMA Regulations") to provide legislative support not only for the making of agreements and payments of the kind which were in issue in the first proceeding, but also for the making of other arrangements and grants.

Mr Williams then brought a fresh proceeding in the High Court against the Commonwealth, the relevant Minister and SUQ, challenging the validity of the relevant provisions of the FMA Act and FMA Regulations inserted by the FFLA Act. He challenged the validity of those provisions both generally and in their particular operation with respect to the payment of money by the Commonwealth to SUQ under the then funding agreement. Both the agreement and the payments made under it were said to be made under the "National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program".

The Court held that, in their operation with respect to the challenged funding agreement and the challenged payments made under that agreement, none of the challenged provisions is a valid law of the Commonwealth. The provisions are not, in their relevant operation, supported by a head of legislative power under the Constitution. Providing at a school the services of a chaplain or welfare worker for the objective described in the FMA Regulations is not a provision of "benefits to students" within the meaning of s 51(xxiiiA) of the Constitution. The Court further held that the Commonwealth's entry into, and expenditure of money under, the funding agreement was not supported by the executive power of the Commonwealth. The making of the payments was therefore held to be unlawful.