Media Release

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today challenged the Victorian Government to fund more effective representation of key concerns in the State such as the best interests of children and religious freedom – two issues important to all Victorians.

The call comes on the back of the Victorian Government’s weekend announcement that it will provide $400,000 to fund and recognise a peak gay lobby group as part of a package of measures obviously aimed at winning the gay vote.

“If the Government has this kind of money to allocate to lobbying, then why aren’t they offering the same largesse and favourable treatment to what I would argue are far more pressing issues in our State – issues which affect far more people but are largely going unaddressed?” ACL Victorian Director Rob Ward said today.

“There is plenty of evidence to show that a distressing number of children are being neglected and abused or are bearing the brunt of poverty in our society. Children are also suffering from increased incidence of family breakdown and the effects of the sexualisation of children in the media environment.

“Where is the Government funding to enable the Christian constituency and relevant not-for-profit groups to more effectively lobby to see these issues addressed?” Mr Ward asked.

“In terms of religious freedom, concerns have even been raised internationally about Victoria’s threat to this basic freedom, such as through its anti-vilification laws. The Christian constituency would also greatly welcome moves by the Government to fund and give an ear to representation on these concerns.”

Mr Ward said that the lead up to the Victorian election was a perfect time for the Government to give greater priority to these pressing needs and to show that it is looking to govern for all Victorians rather than just trying to win over a few gay voters.

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan 0408 875 979