For Release: August 6, 2008

The Northern Territory ALP is concerned about legalising R18+ computer games, wants parliament to retain primacy as the voice of the people, and is committed to assessing and expanding the Health and Welfare grant program, according to its answers to a questionnaire released today.

The Country Liberal Party will support moves to tighten ‘artistic merit’ loopholes in Australia’s classification system to protect children, is not philosophically attracted to a bill of rights, and plans to increase funding over time to NT welfare organisations on a case for case basis, according to its responses.

The Australian Christian Lobby’s NT office has put six questions on key issues of concern to Christians to each of the three NT political parties contesting the upcoming election on August 9, as well as to as many Independents who could be contacted in the time available. The questions cover euthanasia, social services, a bill of rights, classification issues, indigenous wellbeing, and the Kaden bill.

Responses from the ALP, the CLP and several Independents have been posted on a section of the ACL website entitled ‘Northern Territory Votes: Want to know what the parties think?’ available by clicking here or going to www.acl.org.au/nt. The Australian Greens have not yet responded to the questionnaire but their responses will be added if they choose to do so.

ACL NT Director Lois Fong said that the aim of the questionnaire is to assist Christians to make a wise and informed vote at the upcoming election after accurately weighing up the different party policies on issues of concern to them.

“We welcome the ALP’s commitment to reducing the number of X-rated vendors in the Territory – with pornographic material linked in the ‘Little Children are Sacred’ report to the horrifying abuse of children. We also welcome the CLP’s commitment to tightening the classification system’s ‘artistic merit’ loopholes, which have contributed to the exploitation of children,” Mrs Fong said.

“In responding to the questionnaire, the ALP, CLP and several independents have been able to clearly state their policies on issues which sometimes fall below the radar of the mainstream election coverage. We have notified most NT churches and local ACL supporters about the questionnaire responses and hope it will provide them with useful information in considering their vote on election day.”

Last night the ACL hosted a ‘Make it Count NT’ event at Charles Darwin University which saw around 200 Christians from 15 denominations gather to hear from and question Chief Minister Paul Henderson and Opposition Leader Terry Mills. The event was also webcast to a cross-section of Christians meeting at Alice Springs. Mrs Fong said the event provided a wonderful opportunity for the local Christian community to gather together and make known their concerns, just a short time out from the election. It highlighted the strength of the Christian community and
encouraged the two main political leaders to go “on the record” with their stances on issues ranging from euthanasia, education and health to indigenous issues, crime and homelessness.

Media Contact: Lois Fong 0417 200 464 or Glynis Quinlan 0408 875 979