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Pages tagged "ACL"
Tas pokie inquiry opens way to reform
· March 21, 2016 11:00 AM
17 March 2016
The Australian Christian Lobby welcomes the announcement today that a joint select parliamentary committee will be formed to consider the future of Tasmania’s gaming industry.
ACL Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said he was pleased with Treasurer Peter Gutwein’s statement today that he wanted a transparent public consultation process, with a report to be ready by the end of the year.
The announcement follows a special screening of the documentary Ka-Ching! Pokie Nation that was hosted Wednesday night by the ACL in the Tasmanian Parliament House.
“At the screening politicians were reminded again of the bad effects gambling has on our community, so it is good to see the Government respond today so positively,” Mr Brown said.
“The Australian Christian Lobby believes any review should consider ways to reduce the addictive nature of gaming machines as well as reduce the number of machines.
“Approximately 27,000 Tasmanians are directly or indirectly affected by pokie addiction, including an estimated 2,000 children.”
Mr Brown made the comments following last night’s special ACL screening of the documentary Ka-Ching! Pokie Nation at Parliament House in Hobart, which was attended by a range of politicians.
“Deliberately inducing addictive behaviour with the aim of extracting large amounts of money from vulnerable people is morally abhorrent,” Mr Brown said.
“Every Tasmanian, and especially every politician needs to see this film’s powerful message.”
Leading gambling expert Dr Charles Livingstone from Monash University, who appeared in the documentary and spoke at the screening, said pokies were highly addictive.
“Pokies are a dangerous and addictive product, and need to be regulated as such,” Dr Livingstone said.
“Tasmanians support major reform of pokie regulation and the Government needs to stand up to the pokie monopoly and listen to the community.
“Pokies are a box of tricks, intended to addict, and pokie profits are fuelled by addiction.
“it was great to see Tasmanian politicians engaged at the screening in discussion about pokie harm - now they need to act.”
View the Ka-Ching! Pokie Nation trailer
Jim Wallace on the Political Spot
· February 26, 2013 11:00 AM
Jim Wallace is the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby. He spoke to the ACL's Katherine Spackman about the proposed anti-discrimination laws. The senate inquiry into the bill recommended removing religious exemptions. The Attorney-General at the weekend
dismissed the idea of removing religious exemptions.
ACT Government unwillingness to attend church service
· February 15, 2013 11:00 AM
Nick Jensen, from the ACL, writes in Canberra City News (7th February 2013) about the ACT Government's decision not to attend a church service to mark the beginning of the 2013 political term.
There has been a fair bit of ink spilled lately over the ACT Government’s unwillingness to attend a church service at the beginning of this political term. The new Speaker, Liberal MLA Vicki Dunne, has proposed an ecumenical service where people can pray for and bless their leaders. Although it would involve a Christian liturgy, leaders of other faiths have been invited to contribute as well to the service.
I may perhaps be a little biased, but the decision to refuse to even send a representative to such an event seems unwise. The latest census data from 2011 shows that around 52% of Canberran’s resonate with the Christian tradition, and another 8% belong to other faith communities.
The reason given from the government was one of ‘principle’, indicating that this would compromise the ‘secular nature’ of the Assembly. By ‘secular’ we can assume that they mean there should be no formal connection between government and religion. If this is the case however some consistency is required. Initially it would be prudent to remove the crosses on the ACT flag, and surely the ‘Goddess’ standing at the public entrance to the Legislative Assembly should be relocated.
Why stop there though if we are truly to remove any formal religious connection? Every MLA with ‘minister’ in their title will need a name change due to its Christian roots. The seating in the Assembly will need to be rearranged as well, based initially on a church-choir seating model. In fact, the very foundation of the Westminster system is based firmly on Medieval Christianity, so naturally this would need to go as well to preserve the ‘secular nature’ of our government.
Quite simply, I believe that there is a serious misunderstanding of what ‘secular’ or ‘separation of church/state’ actually means in Australia. It certainly does not mean that our elected officials need to stay away from religion and expressions of faith. Faith is a part of our history, our culture, our values, and the way many of us live our lives. To therefore reject a simple act recognising this significance is, I believe, not what true representative leadership is about.
In fact, I think that leadership is at its best when it works with faith. Our lawmakers need to be regularly reminded that there is a law and morality higher than the ones they decree. Those in positions of the greatest power need to be continually called to the profound humility that there are greater powers in the world. Those who command authority need to think deeply about the daily practice of sacrifice and service we expect of their position.
All in all, I fail to see the great threat of a community of people gathering around their leaders to bless them, pray for wisdom, and demonstrate support for their representatives no matter what they might believe. Leadership can be incredibly lonely, compromising, stressful, and unappreciated, and I am certain that our new assembly will need all the help they can get.
MR: Redefinition of marriage in UK creates vulnerabilities for churches
· February 07, 2013 11:00 AM
Thursday, February 7th, 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today said it expected it would only be a matter of time before protection of religious freedoms in the UK would diminish following the recent legislation redefining marriage passing in the House of Commons.
ACL’s Managing Director Jim Wallace said that although the UK bill allows religious organisations to say ‘no’ to conducting same-sex marriages, a challenge to this in the European Court of Human Rights has already been flagged, even before the bill has been voted on in the House of Lords.
“Legal expert opinion suggests that the court could rule that if same-sex marriage is normalised in law, any church would be obliged to marry same-sex couples,” Mr Wallace said.
“The passing of this legislation redefining marriage in the UK is yet another demonstration of governments failing to protect freedom of religion and conscience for churches,” he said, “in fact it goes further and creates a vulnerability that activists are indicating they will pursue.”
“No Australian political leader can suggest that protections could be provided to the church in the light of the clear intention of activists in the UK to pursue any loophole in their pursuit of the church,” he said.
He said the Australian Parliament made the right decision in rejecting same-sex marriage last year.
“Our parliamentarians should not be bullied into creating another debate on marriage when it was so decisively defeated late last year,” Mr Wallace said.
“MPs know it doesn’t rate in their electorates. The UK provides another example that redefining marriage is not the end of the gay activists’ agenda,” he said.
Lyle Shelton on the Political Spot
· December 11, 2012 11:00 AM
Lyle Shelton is the Chief of Staff at the Australian Christian Lobby. He spoke to the ACL's Katherine Spackman about the US Supreme Court's decision to hear cases on gay marriage.
MR: Tas Labor puts Greens’ priorities ahead of election promises
· August 07, 2011 10:00 AM
Labor is increasingly being led by the Greens with the Tasmanian ALP conference voting against key election promises made by the Federal Party, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.
Votes to scrap chaplains and introduce gay marriage at the Tasmanian ALP conference this weekend show that Labor is prepared to put the Greens’ policy agenda ahead of its own election promises http://vimeo.com/13959730.
“Both the Prime Minister and the Federal Labor Party gave unequivocal election promises to continue the popular chaplaincy program and to ensure that the Marriage Act was protected,” ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said.
“It is a measure of the Greens power over Labor, particularly in a State like Tasmania where the Greens are in a coalition government with Labor, that a Labor State conference is prepared to defy Federal Labor policy so brazenly.
“We continue to see the tyranny of the minority influencing the national agenda.”
Mr Wallace said the Mayor of Burwood, Councillor John Faker, in inner Sydney was right when he talked last week of a noisy minority “stamping its feet” on issues like gay marriage in the face of majority opinion.
Mr Wallace said the conference’s vote to allow stranger adoption to same-sex couples was another Greens’ policy championed by a small group of activists.
“How on earth can a government, which is bound to always act in the best interest of children, give a ward of the State over to two men or two women when that child has no choice?”
A vote to decriminalise abortion to birth, even when there was a healthy mother and a healthy baby, was another extreme Greens policy now adopted by Tasmanian Labor.
Mr Wallace said Labor was in danger of moving away from the concerns of mainstream Australia which were more in line with the results of last week’s Australia SCAN survey which showed middle Australia wants a return to “basic moral values like honesty and hard work and putting families first”.
ACL disappointed at racist slur
· June 21, 2011 10:00 AM
I am very disappointed at an anonymous suggestion made on
tonight that ACL is the reason a number of MPs were linked to a Facebook racism controversy.
Like the MPs, ACL had also unwittingly accepted a Facebook friend request from the racist group Australia Isdying.
As an organisation we had no idea this group was amongst the almost 2000 friends we have on Facebook and they were obviously accepted by mistake. ACL abhors racism, supports religious freedom and believes Australia should increase its humanitarian intake of refugees.
As soon as we saw the news.com.au story tonight, we unfriended Australia Isdying.
It is a shame no attempt was made to contact us before publishing this anonymous racist slur.
Jim Wallace answers Twitter critics on Sunrise
· April 26, 2011 10:00 AM
[caption id="attachment_6474" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Jim Wallace on Sunrise"]
ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace appeared on
Sunrise this morning
to clarify misrepresentations made of a Twitter post yesterday.
Jim repeated his apology for tweeting on ANZAC Day, saying it was never his intention to politicise it.
However, he stood by his comment that the issues of same-sex marriage and Islamic extremism would change the nature of Australia and needed to be grappled with.
MR: ACL Managing Director clarifies tweet misrepresentation
· April 25, 2011 10:00 AM
ACL Managing Director clarifies tweet misrepresentation
The purpose of this Media Statement is to clarify what are misinterpretations of a tweet by Jim Wallace earlier today.
“The tweet has obviously been seized on by everyone with an intention to discredit, but although ill timed, it did not and was never intended to suggest that veterans had not fought for all Australians,” said Mr Wallace.
Mr Wallace had been sitting with his 96 year old father, a veteran of both Tobruk and Milne Bay, when he considered a theme often mentioned by him, that he found it difficult to recognise the Australia he had fought for.
“My ill timed tweet was a comment on the ‘nature’ of the Australia he had fought for, and the need to honour that in the way we preserve it into the future.” said Mr Wallace.
“While of course and rightly there have always been gays and Muslims in Australia, many of whom have fought for the country, the nature of the country they fought for and arguably what made it worth fighting for, has been largely drawn from Judeo-Christian heritage and values,” said Mr Wallace.
“I believe in and value ANZAC Day and our veterans too much to have ever intended a slight on the day, and apologise unreservedly for having even tweeted the thought on this day, it was not my intent to see it used this way, ” said Mr Wallace.
Media contact: Katherine Spackman 0408 875 979
Proposed prostitution reforms do not address community safety
· November 29, 2010 11:00 AM
proposed prostitution reforms
announced by the Attorney General Christian Porter do not go far enough in addressing community safety, according to the Australian Christian Lobby’s WA Director Michelle Pearse.
“The proposed laws will ban prostitution from residential areas and give Police expanded powers to shut down illegal brothels, but we are concerned that by allowing brothels to operate, demand for prostituted women will continue to rise,” Ms Pearse said.
“There is already a great demand for prostituted women and this is why we have a growing number of sex workers coming in from Asia. As long as there is a legal industry, men will continue to assume the right to exploit women by purchasing them for sex,” Ms Pearse said.
Research from the University of Queensland estimates that 90% of the brothels in Queensland are still illegal, even after the Government set up the Prostitution Licensing Authority to regulate the industry.
“I question why our Government wants to follow the failed Queensland model which proves that it is impossible to regulate brothels,” Ms Pearse said. “The continuing growth of the illegal sector puts community safety at risk.”
Ms Pearse questioned if the Attorney General had considered the safety of the women who are exploited in this industry.
“Research shows that many women in prostitution are raped, physically assaulted and threatened, and one study showed that 68% of prostituted women suffered post traumatic stress disorder”.
Ms Pearse also said that the growing demand for prostituted women has naturally led to a massive growth in human trafficking for sexual purposes including the exploitation of children in the sex industry.
“Countries across the world are passing laws and considering ways of tackling the demand for prostitution. Sweden criminalised the purchase of sex in 1999, which has resulted in a massive reduction of the industry and reduction of human trafficking.”
The Australian Christian Lobby wants the state Government to expand the proposed reforms to criminalise the purchase of sex everywhere so that men are not encouraged to exploit women.
“Community safety will only be achieved when the Government recognises that prostitution is exploitation and seeks the safety of those in prostitution as well as the wider community.”
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