Where is the funding for the Atheist Convention Melbourne 2010?

The Global Atheist Convention 2010 in Melbourne, Australia is expected
to be the largest gathering of atheists, rationalists, humanists,
sceptics, free thinkers and other like-minded people in Australian

The Atheist Foundation of Australia is running the Convention and
applied for government funding months ago – but has not yet received a
response. This delay seems excessive and the government appears to be
trying to dodge the issue of supporting non-believers, perhaps worried
about upsetting the religious organisations they have a mutually
beneficial relationship with. In Australia exemptions or concessions
apply to religious organisations in relation to income tax, fringe
benefits tax, GST, payroll tax, land tax, stamp duties, car registration
fees and municipal rates. And let’s not forget the recent Victorian
government decision to exempt religious organisations from a range of
anti-discrimination laws…another example of one rule for the religious,
another for everyone else. This is blatant discrimination.

To run an event the size of the Global Atheist Convention must cost a
lot of money, even though all the speakers have generously donated their
time, and the Convention is relying on ticket sales for funding.
Consider the millions of government dollars that will help fund the
Parliament of World Religions and the $120m the World Youth Day cost
Australian tax payers (and let’s not even start on the civil liberty
restrictions associated with World Youth Day…) - it’s time the atheists
received some of the same support.

It’s time our “representatives” actually represented us and supported
the Global Atheist Convention.

We are Australian atheists and it’s time the government heard us.

Please help us by spreading the word - raise this issue on blogs, in
conversation and anywhere else the politicians might hear you.




Considering the basis of these fundings made for events, the only reason the government would not be putting in funding, would be based on a stance philosophically opposed to atheism and non-believers.

The funding is based on economics, on the fact of tourism and what it is bringing to the state. There will be thousands of atheists, freethinkers, non-believers and believers alike coming to melbourne for this, the government should not only be responding, they should be doing so without haste.

I’m glad the convention is receiving no government funds. The AFA’s position should be to simply state that we received no funds though a request was made. No mention of religion as that sets up an us and them situation, makes it look like we too are interested in money and power and smacks of me to-ism.
The religious will already portray us as wanting to convert the world to communism, no need to give them ammunition.
Highlight the tax breaks and funding given to religion as well as the undeserved privilege it enjoys in this country by all means but we look silly if we criticise then ask for the same.


Actually I'm pretty excited; this convention will be the best entertainment we've seen here for years... but that's all it'll be.

The difficulty you'll all have of course is trying to agree with each other, as the posts above amply demonstrate. "Free thinkers"(?) "Rationalists"(?) "Secularists"(?) etc - you'll all be fighting for "media turf". You cannot even agree on funding! "We want funding!" "No we don't want funding...Lets play politics/ strategy instead."

Neither argument even attempted to be based on logic. (I'll finish this point here lest you get confused) ... Religious charities get tax deductions because they save government money and provide services for people; they even employ people who, believe (sorry to use that word!) it or not -- PAY TAXES !! DOH !!

What do you do for the community - as a group?

I suppose you will gather into one place, most of the misfits from the "experientialist" years; those fed on "flower power", the "drug" and "Pop" cultures or some other new age narcissistic waffle. Such it is that your numbers have only risen after the failures of one incomprehensible and always unproven lifestyle choice after another; in an age that has forgotten how the great thinkers like Chesterton demolished Atheism for its foolishness. Now we've got generations of non thinkers who wouldn't know an ethic from an ethnic; who cannot DISCERN because they cannot DISCRIMINATE where they need to. Populism is no substitute. Consensus in no substitute.

DISCRIMINATION ?? Yes of course - that's what mature adults do when then need to make a judgement - but its got to be based on valid reasoning something you guys have great difficulty with. (Now don't go assuming that I'm a theist!) You need to get off your political bandwagons (they're no more credible than many religions) - and think for 2 seconds where you discriminate and then whether its really based on bigotry or on unbiased substantiated logic.

What I'd really like to see is a televised debate between your most media savy guru (Dawkins?) and any number of the available "true thinkers" who stand out because they've disciplined their thinking to be clear, truthful, encompassing of and comprehending of the philosophies that underpinned our civilisation and give us a justified sense of HOPE.

There is proably no god, no bus and no funding.
Now don't worry and enjoy your life.