Media Release

Both the Victorian Labor Government and the Liberal-Nationals Coalition will support the independence of faith-based schools to teach from a Christian perspective but neither party has agreed to amend abortion laws to ensure doctors with a conscientious objection aren’t compelled to refer women for abortions.

The Liberal-Nationals Coalition has committed to remove some aspects of Victoria’s equal opportunity laws which restrict religious freedom, while the Labor Party has put forward initiatives to help rehabilitate young offenders and prevent them from being exposed to prison culture where possible.

These are among the responses of political parties to 21 questions on topics ranging from child protection to euthanasia released by the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today as part of the launch of its www.victoriavotes.org.au voter education website. It includes responses from the ALP, the Liberal-Nationals Coalition, the Greens, DLP, Family First, and the CDP.

In the countdown to the Victorian election, the website will inform Christians throughout the State about the different political party standpoints on key issues they care about. It also includes a host of other election resources including a full list of how each MP and Upper House representative voted on conscience issues including abortion, surrogacy and equal opportunity legislation.

“The last term of Government has been a tumultuous time for many Christians as we battled a number of pieces of controversial legislation including the decriminalisation of abortion, same-sex surrogacy, and changes to equal opportunity laws which have created uncertainty for faith-based schools and service-providers who want to employ people who share their ethos,” ACL Victorian Director Rob Ward said.

“The Victoria Votes website gives an account on how Victorian politicians voted on these bills and asks political parties about their policies on these and a range of other moral and social justice issues for the time ahead.

“Questions such as the ones on abortion are particularly pertinent when you consider that even though both sides of Parliament had a free conscience vote on abortion law changes, Victorian doctors are being denied the right to be true to their conscience on this issue.”

Mr Ward said that the aim of the website is to assist Christians to make a wise and informed vote at the upcoming election after accurately weighing up the different party policies and views on issues of concern to them.

“This is one of the most comprehensive voter information resources for Christians ever seen in Victoria and we hope it will be a valuable source of assistance as people consider their votes. Information about the website will be provided to all major denominations and to thousands of churches throughout the State.”

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan 0408 875 979; Rob Ward on 0408 348 352.