It was 30 years ago that the issue of government money being lavished on church schools got a good airing in the High Court. That was the Defence of Government Schools case, and what a furore it caused. Commonwealth money was being applied by successive Liberal and Labor governments to curry favour with parents who packed off their precious offspring to Catholic- and Protestant-branded schools. It was the beginning of the enormous taxpayer largesse for private schools, significantly at the expense of the state system.
Furious Christians have accused the state Coalition of breaking a key election promise by dumping its commitment to remove ethics classes from schools if it wins power next month. The Herald revealed yesterday that the Coalition had decided against removing the classes from the end of this year if elected, despite announcing in November that it would do so. The opposition education spokesman, Adrian Piccoli, said the Liberal-National party took the view that ''the battle over ethics classes is finished''.
Ethics classes are here to stay in NSW public schools after the state opposition retreated from its promise to remove them if it wins government at the March election. Opposition education spokesman Adrian Piccoli announced the backflip on Thursday, saying the battle over ethics classes was over and the coalition had decided to move on from the issue. In November, the opposition said it would scrap the classes at the end of 2011 if it won the March election.
Territory Christians met yesterday to speak in support of keeping the definition of "marriage" as it is - between a man and a woman. Greens MP Adam Bandt last year moved a motion in Parliament noting a growing number of countries allow same-sex couples to marry and called on politicians to gauge their constituents' view on the issue. Australian Christian Lobby NT spokeswoman Lois Fong said the political group was taking Mr Bandt up on his offer to express their view. "During the election campaign, Julia Gillard made a definite commitment to the Christian community to uphold the definition of marriage in the Marriage Act," she said. "We want to hold her to her commitment." She said the definition is important to retain the "special relationship" between men and women and the "natural" state of creating life.
President Hosni Mubarak wants to leave office, but fears there will be chaos in Egypt if he resigns now. The beleaguered Egyptian leader said he was "fed up with being president and would like to leave office now, but cannot... for fear that the country would sink into chaos," ABC's Christiane Amanpour said, after interviewing Mubarak. The sentiment was echoed by Egypt's vice president, who urged protesters to go home after deadly clashes between opponents and partisans of Mubarak raged for a second day.
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