Media Release: Wednesday, July 4, 2007



In an Australian first, the leaders of Australia’s two major political parties have agreed to speak live to Christians across the nation. Large numbers of Christians from a wide range of denominations are expected to gather in their churches on August 9 to watch a live web-cast of Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd addressing church leaders.



‘Federal Election 2007 – Make it Count’ will be hosted by the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) at the National Press Club in Canberra from 7 pm - 9.30 pm (EST).



Around 200 church, para-church and denominational leaders will travel to Canberra for the event, which will include an opportunity for them to ask questions of both Mr Howard and Mr Rudd, after their separate talks.



Both the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader’s addresses and the question sessions will be web-cast simultaneously to congregations meeting in locations throughout Australia, with a delayed web-cast from 7.30 pm for West Australians.



“This is a unique chance for Christians to hear first-hand from the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader about why they think they should be endorsed to lead our nation, and to hear their responses to questions from church leaders,” ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said. “We need to be influencing all political parties to develop well-considered policy initiatives and a vision for Australia that engenders an increasingly moral and caring society.”



Mr Wallace urged church leaders and Christians across Australia to get involved in the event and to help shape how the nation is governed.



“I am confident Christians in every city, town and village across Australia will turn out in droves to local churches on August 9 to take part in this event if we want to really make the Christian vote count,” Mr Wallace said. “This is a valuable opportunity to highlight the importance of the Christian constituency in the lead-up to the election and to ensure that the Christian influence has maximum impact.”



Mr Wallace said that participating churches will need to register prior to the event through the ACL website at www.acl.org.au. The website also provides full details about the event and technical information for receiving the web-cast. Churches without the technical capacity to take part in the web-cast should consider joining with other local churches in their community for the night. Details of participating churches in different locations will also be placed on the ACL website.



Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan