More than 300 people from across Tasmania attended a rally to save their community’s Anglican Churches.
Save our Community Souls chairman and Northern Midlands mayor David Downie said the meeting at Campbell Town on Sunday was the first step in having the community heard.
“It was a very emotional meeting. There were a lot of very passionate speakers,” he said.
Mr Downie said most people at the meeting were unhappy with the way the Anglican Church was managing the Redress Scheme.
“No one is against the Redress, but it’s the way they’re trying to sell off these community assets without properly consulting and engaging with the parishes.
Mr Downie said the group would now present its case to the Anglican Church.
“We want to work with the church. We think that the church can be made into a stronger community if this is handled right.”
Many of the state’s municipalities were represented by supporters in attendance, including Break O’Day mayor Mick Tucker, West Tamar councillor Peter Kearney, and Meander Valley councillor John Temple.
Lyons Labor MP Jen Butler said the clock was ticking to ensure burial rights were honoured and families can continue to access cemeteries.
Attorney General Elise Archer said communities were rightly asking questions about the proposed sale of their churches.
She said while the sale was ultimately a matter for the Anglican Church, the state government was committed to “preserving, protecting, and, where appropriate strengthening the rights” of community members and the obligations on cemetery managers through a review of the Burials and Cremation Act.
Tasmanian Nationals Senator Steve Martin said the Anglican Church needed to contribute toward the National Redress Scheme, but the price should not be paid by the faithful.
Final decisions on the potential church sales will be made by the Diocesan Council in December.
- A previous version of this story incorrectly quoted Senator Steve Martin as saying “the prize should not be paid by the faithful”, a misprint that should have read price.