Two councillors have voiced their support for prayers being said before council and parliament.
Two councillors have voiced their support for prayers being said before council and parliament.

Councillors voice support for keeping prayer tradition

Two Fraser Coast councillors have publicly voiced their support for a petition aiming to ensure council meetings and sessions of parliament continue to be opened with a prayer.

Both Paul Truscott and Daniel Sanderson shared their support for continuing the tradition on social media.

Almost 400 people signed an initial petition put forward by Sunshine Coast man Tony Magrathea and tabled in Queensland parliament calling for religious observances in parliament and at city and regional council meetings to cease.

In response, a competing petition championed by Wendy Francis, state head of the Australian Christian Lobby, was tabled a week later and so far has 6283 signatures.

"As a Christian, I never underestimate the power of prayer and I believe in its importance in our lives daily," Cr Truscott said.

"Personally, I am grateful that our parliament and council opens the meeting with a prayer. In our local council the prayer is shared by Ministers from across the Fraser Coast.

"However, there is currently a push by some people in the state for the removal of the inclusion of prayer at meetings.

"Our Australian constitution, in the very first sentence includes this acknowledgment: 'Humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God' and being in agreement to unite our states into one indissoluble Commonwealth under the Crown.

"The inclusion of religious observances is in recognition of the important role that Christianity has played in the development of our laws and cultural heritage.

"Our indigenous heritage is also recognised at the opening of every meeting, as the first people of our nation and acknowledging the land on which we meet.

"Australia was founded with Christian principles and while there is a separation of church and state, I do not believe this was intended to keep religious people, ideas or prayers out of public life. The inclusion of prayers in parliament has been proven to be constitutional.

"I am personally grateful that both Labor and LNP leaders last month expressed their support for the continuance of prayer at the opening of meetings.

"I am personally in support of the petition for the continuation of prayer at the opening of parliament and Council meetings."

Cr Sanderson also voiced his support for the petition.

"I'm a strong believer in the importance of prayer and our daily relationship with God," he wrote.

The petition closes on January 31.



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