Greens fighting "loophole" that allowed principal's sacking

The Greens is pushing to close a "loophole" that had allowed the sacking of a Catholic principal of a NSW Far North Coast school after he remarried but failed to receive a church annulment for his first marriage.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Paul Cronin was ordered out of the Holy Family Catholic Primary School at Skennars Head, sparking a heated response from parents and teachers.

The Lismore Catholic Education Office has failed to re-instate Mr Cronin to his principal's role, issuing a statement on Friday saying a "confidential agreement around Mr Cronin's continuing employment with the Lismore Diocese" had been signed and it reconfirmed Dr Paul Thornton in the acting principal role.

The NSW Greens will cite Mr Cronin's case as an example of why the exemption to the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act, which allows private schools and some small businesses to hire and fire on the basis of religion, sex, marital status and age, should be removed.

Greens Member Lee Rhiannon (pictured) has introduced a private member's bill to close the "loophole," which is now before the upper house.

Mr Cronin has been represented throughout the negotiations by the Independent Education Union.

The union's acting general secretary Gloria Taylor said: "Terms of settlement are confidential and we are eager for him to continue his career unhindered."

Principal's sacking shows discrimination loophole, Greens say (Sydney Morning Herald 23/4/06)

Catholic teachers get interim 4pc pay rise (ABC News 23/4/06)
Catholic educators focus on keeping students safe on the Internet (Catholic News Service 21/4/06)
Missing in action (The Age 24/4/06)

24 Apr 2006