Bob Brown's move to strike out federal ministerial veto powers over territory laws is an anti-democratic attempt to impose a radical social agenda on the nation, the peak Christian lobby group has warned. The Greens' proposed bill, which is being considered by a Senate committee, stems from the environmental party's controversial same-sex agenda "rather than any genuine interest in the democratic rights of people living in territories", according to a submission from the Australian Christian Lobby's director, Jim Wallace. Senator Brown's legislation came under fresh attack yesterday as he was forced to hose down reports of leadership tensions in the party.
There's more to the territory-rights debate than the hot-button issues of gay marriage and euthanasia. The right of territories like the ACT to act more independently of the Commonwealth Government (but not of the Commonwealth Parliament) has become embroiled, to their disadvantage, with law reform in the fields of gay marriage and euthanasia. The link is the role of the Greens in moving the relevant Commonwealth Bill re territory rights and in being the most active supporters of both reforms. This combination is explosive and emotional, especially as the pressure group campaigning is extremely vigorous and uncompromising. Furthermore, we in the ACT are especially sensitive to any slight, whether silly or nasty.
A slanging match has broken out between private and public school lobby groups over the fairness of schools funding. The Association of Independent Schools NSW has compared funding levels of disadvantaged schools including Holroyd High with schools including Kambala to make the point that wealthier private schools are not receiving as much. It failed to mention that half the students at Holroyd are recently arrived refugees and the rest are from disadvantaged backgrounds. Schools for children with special needs are the most expensive in the state to run and dominate the AIS list of top funded schools.
There’ll be no more excuses for under-performing children now their parents can get them tested for sporting prowess. A US company is selling DNA home testing kits – just swab the little darling and post it off, and they’ll let you know whether you’re nurturing the next Usain Bolt. Just what competitive parents need in the race to have the best child in the world. Now they can hang around the school gate boasting that not only did little precious learn to align a Rubik’s Cube at two months, he also has the genes of a champion.
A group of Melbourne Muslim women want to tell Pauline Hanson she has nothing to fear from Islam. The western suburbs women have written a book about their experiences and they believe Ms Hanson should have a copy. Ms Hanson, who said last year that she wouldn't sell her house to Muslims, is running as an independent in this month's NSW election.
Christchurch sex workers are reportedly enjoying a boom in trade after last month's earthquake as stressed emergency workers turn to the world's oldest profession. Prostitutes in the New Zealand city said an influx of foreigners helping relief efforts after the devastating 6.3-magnitude quake had left them run off their feet, the Christchurch Press reported. It said one sex worker, "Candice", reported earning up to NZ$1400 ($1030) a night soliciting just outside the city's cordoned-off downtown area.
Year 10 school bullies are twice as likely to binge drink, steal or fight in year 11 than other students, according to findings from the Murdoch Research Institute at the Royal Children's Hospital. Their victims were twice as likely to be depressed by year 11. The institute's international youth development study has tracked 700 Victorian students throughout their high school years, measuring a range of bad habits from marijuana use and violent behaviour to bullying. The number of students reporting they had been bullied dropped between years 7 and 10, even though the number of students admitting that they had bullied other children had increased.
Support for voluntary euthanasia in NSW is running at 83 per cent, with only 10 per cent of people implacably opposed, according to a Newspoll commissioned by advocates Dying with Dignity NSW. The result, which puts the state on a par with the rest of Australia in acceptance of doctor-assisted dying for people suffering intractably with no chance of recovery, shows the level of support unchanged since the last survey two years ago. It comes after the Herald yesterday reported on the case of Sydney woman Loredana Alessio-Mulhall, a sufferer of advanced multiple sclerosis, who said she would seek euthanasia in the Netherlands within a year because she was unable to do so here.
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