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Margaret Court’s Pentecostal church received over $500k in JobKeeper

Federal government JobKeeper payments to Margaret Court’s Pentecostal church have totalled over $500k, despite minor revenue decreases.

Victory Life Centre, the Pentecostal church run by controversial former tennis champion, Margaret Court, received more than $280,000 in JobKeeper from April to June 2020.

However, her church’s revenue barely decreased during 2020.

Margaret Court jobkeeper
Image: AP

In 2020, religious institutions were deemed eligible for JobKeeper payments of $1,500 fortnightly per eligible employee if their revenue fell by more than 15 per cent in a given period compared to the same period the previous year.

According to The Guardian, the treasurer of Victory Life Centre, James Chan, said the church received a total of more than $500,000 in JobKeeper as well as a $50,000 cash flow boost from a federal grant.

Victory Life Centre’s accounts show that over the course of the 2019-20 financial year, its revenue fell by only 0.72 per cent, to about $2.7m.

Chan said that revenue for April 2020 tumbled by 17 per cent.

That made us eligible for the JobKeeper,” he said.

Without the JobKeeper we would just have broke even.”

The payments began shortly after the church declared that the blood of Jesus would protect parishioners from the deadly virus.

Court, who founded Victory Life Centre in 1995, said the church had a charity arm “that puts out 75 tons of food a week”.

This was a great help to us at the time as people [using the service] doubled,” she said.

People on social media aren’t pleased about the church receiving the JobKeeper payments, with many believing there are others more deserving.

In January, Court was awarded Australia’s highest honour, Companion of the Order of Australia (AO), a decision that copped backlash nationwide.

Many argued that the honour underlined the Morrison Government’s own conversation views, as Court is infamous for her slander of the LGBTQ+ community.

In response, transgender woman and LGBTQ+ activist, Dr Soo returned her own AO in protest.

Court’s defamation of the LGBTQ+ community includes her description of homosexuality as an “abominable sexual practice” and her disparaging remarks about transgender children and athletes.

Furthermore, Court and her husband Barry copped significant backlash last year after helping to establish a consulate for Burundi in Perth,

For those who don’t know, the East African country of Burundi is being investigated for “crimes against humanity.”

Specifically, the United Nations accused the government of persecuting homosexuals, abductions, torture, sexual violence and summary executions.

Combined with Court’s own views on LGBTQ+ people, many in the community allege that JobKepper payments have gone to a covert hate group.