Did you miss the live Q&A simulcast?

On Tuesday May 14, Martyn Iles Australian Christian Lobby managing director sat down to answer your questions on the upcoming federal election.

If you missed the live broadcast - watch below as Martyn answers questions on the economy, gender and sexuality, refugees, climate change, religious freedom.

The issues of importance to Christians at any election are many, this federal election is no different.

Whilst the below list of policy issues is not exhaustive, it attempts to inform voters of core issues that show the propensity of our political parties to uphold and protect;

  • The inherent value of life,
  • Religious freedom,
  • The truth about sexuality.

Some political parties have clearly outlined their position in the party's policy platform, others have demonstrated their position via their voting record on legislation in the Parliament over recent years.

Australian Labor Party 

The ALP’s national sexual and reproductive health strategy states that they “support all women to access termination services in public hospitals”. If elected they will work to ensure abortion is provided consistently throughout public hospitals in Australia by tying federal funding to abortion services in public hospitals. Labor will also decriminalise abortion in both NSW and SA where abortion is still considered illegal. 

The Greens 

The Greens policy Safe, Accessible, Affordable Abortion supports the decriminalisation of abortion under State law in NSW and Queensland, as well as the removal of criminal provisions in both SA and WA where they still exist. Their policy would also mean increased access to abortions at all State and Territory public hospitals with out of pocket costs cut.

Liberal National Coalition 

The underlying principle of the Liberal National Coalition in health services is quality of life, and this includes during end of life care. People should have access to quality palliative care and relief from pain and suffering. Where possible, they should be able to choose the extent of active medical treatment they receive.

Australian Labor Party

According to Labor’s National Platform, members of parliament are entitled to vote on matters relating to euthanasia and assisted suicide in accordance with their conscience. 

Australian Conservatives

The Australian Conservatives do not support euthanasia. These are matters for states to determine, and neither the Northern Territory or the Australian Capital Territory have demonstrated a capacity for self-governance and self-reliance sufficient enough to legislate on such grave matters. 

The Greens

The Greens are in favour of assisted suicide and believe Australia should legalise access to physician-assisted euthanasia. They also want to restore the Territories rights to legislate on assisted suicide. 

Liberal National Coalition 

The Liberal National Coalition supports amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act to make it clear that no student of a non-state school can be expelled on the basis of their sexuality.  

The Coalition also supports faith-based schools ability to conduct their affairs and teach in accordance with doctrines, tenets, beliefs or teaching of their faith.  

Australian Labor Party 

According to the Labor Party’s A Fair Go for LGBTIQ Australians policy, a Shorten Labor Government will amend the Sex Discrimination Act to remove the exemptions that permit religious schools to discriminate against students and staff on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity.  

Australian Conservatives 

The Australian Conservatives support the right of faith-based schools and institutions to hire, enrol and educate in line with their values without interference by anti-discrimination legislation. They also support the removal of laws against ‘offence’ and ‘insult’ from all federal legislation.  

The Greens

The Greens support the removal of exemptions from the Sex Discrimination Act which currently allow for faith-based schools to uphold their values and ethos. The Greens go as far as to believe that single-sex schools should be forced to enrol students based on their gender identity rather than their biological sex. 

 The Greens also believe that actions including teachings must be limited when those actions interfere with the rights of Australians to live free from discrimination even when those actions are based on religious doctrines, tenants and beliefs. 

Liberal National Coalition 

The Coalition have at both a state and federal level consistently opposeradical sexual orientation and gender identity programs being taught in schools 

Australian Labor Party 

The Labor Party has been one of the largest proponents in favour of radical sexual orientation and gender identity programs being taught in primary schools.  

The ALP’s National Platform states:  

“Labor will continue to support national programs to address homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and anti-intersex prejudice in schools. This includes ensuring gender diverse students are able to express the gender they identify with.”  

Australian Conservatives 

The Australian Conservatives believe that programs like Safe Schools and Respectful Relationships are political propaganda and indoctrination. 

They believe sexual orientation and gender identity programs are wholly inappropriate for a school environment and are committed to their removal. 

The Greens 

The Greens are in favour of radical sexual orientation and gender identity programs being taught in schools.  

They advocate for schools to celebrate diversity and want school staff to be equipped with the skills they need to support particularly those students we know are more vulnerable to bullying. The Greens believe programs like Safe Schools are important to change attitudes at schools and providing protective factors. 

The Lord’s Prayer is a reminder to all parliamentarians that they are not the highest power, the prayer was one of the founding standing orders from the beginning of Australian federal parliament in 1901.

Liberal National Coalition

The Coalition have consistently stood by the Lord’s Prayer as an important part of parliamentary standing orders. 

Australian Labor Party 

The Labor Party have consistently voted to remove the Lord’s Prayer from parliamentary standing orders. During the most recent debate to remove the Lord’s Prayer in the federal senate, all 20 ALP senators who were present in the chamber voted in favor of the Greens motion.

Australian Conservatives 

The Australian Conservatives respect the Lord’s Prayer as part of parliamentary tradition.  

They acknowledge that it is a long-standing tradition which has a long heritage in both Australia and other Westminster democracies. 

The Greens 

The Greens have been urging for the Lord’s prayer to be removed from federal parliamentary standing orders for years. Last year Greens' senator Rhiannon moved a motion to abolish the prayer from the start of sittings and replace it with a statement that included religious and non-religious beliefs.  

Liberal National Coalition

The Coalition will retain offshore processing and Temporary Protection Visas in order to prevent another rise in people smugglers and deaths at sea. 

They will provide 18,750 resettlement places for those who come to Australia under the Humanitarian Visa Program. The Coalition will also increase funds for Regional Cooperation Arrangement in Indonesia.  

Australian Labor Party 

Labor has promised to increase humanitarian intake of refugees to 27,000 places per year by 2025 and will spend $450 million over three years to work with the UNHRC in the region. 

The ALP will end Temporary Protection Visas, limit detention to 90 days and consider regional resettlement options for asylum seekers in New Zealand.  

Australian Conservatives 

The Australian Conservatives support the current world-leading offshore processing and illegal boat arrival turn-back policies. However, all determinations of visa applications will take place within Australia. 

They will also advocate for Australia to withdraw from the UN Refugee Convention to allow Australia to determine its refugee intake free from external constraints. 

The Greens 

The Greens want to close offshore detention entirely, increase humanitarian intake to 50,000 asylum seekers per year and abolish Temporary Protection Visas.  

They also wish to impose a seven-day limit for onshore detention and introduce Permanent Refugee Protection Visas. 

They want increased income and housing support as well as giving asylum seekers access to Medicare, counselling English language courses and support to find work.  

Liberal National Coalition

The Coalition provided $4 billion in foreign aid in the 2019-20 budget papers.  

They have reduced Australia’s foreign aid budget for the past six years with cuts of more than $11 billion, on the current trajectory it is forecast to drop to as low as 0.16% GNI. By 2022-23 they will spend only 19 cents of every $100 of Australian national income on foreign aid. 

Australian Labor Party 

Labor has said it will “rebuild Australia’s international development” by spending $1.6 billion over four years in foreign aid. This will increase Australia’s foreign aid spending to 22 cents for every $100.  

They want a bigger refocus on the Pacific, moving back to the “Indo-Pacific” focus of previous Labor governments, and vow to strengthen relationships with increased aid spending. 

Australian Conservatives 

The Australian Conservatives have proposed to substantially reduce the level of foreign aid Australia gives and instead improve its delivery method and effectiveness. 

They recognise the need for regional aid to maintain the stability of the region but believe the Australian people must come first. Therefore, foreign aid will only be approved where it is substantially in Australia’s strategic national interest or on compassionate grounds. 

The Greens 

The Greens have committed to increasing foreign aid to 0.7 by 2030.