ALP gay marriage debate falls flat

Herald Sun

A Victorian Labor Party move to back same-sex marriage has failed to even be discussed because there were not enough people in the room to vote on the controversial motion. The issue had been set to put the Victorian ALP at odds with Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who does not support gay marriage. But that and other motions that were to be debated by the state conference in Melbourne on Saturday did not go ahead, all because the meeting was short by the two or three people needed to have a quorum.

Queenslanders want early election to vote out Julia Gillard over carbon tax

Courier Mail

Queenslanders are itching to punish Julia Gillard over her carbon tax and want an early election to kick her Government out of office. Just eight months since the federal election, voters want to go back to the polls over the Gillard Government's controversial carbon tax. A Galaxy poll conducted exclusively for The Sunday Mail reveals 66 per cent of Queensland voters believe Ms Gillard should call an election before her tax starts in July next year. An election is not due until November 2013.

Why old souls are abandoned


Elderly patients left at hospital doorsteps are putting a strain on emergency staff, writes Eamonn Duff. Elderly people are being dumped at hospital emergency departments by relatives - some heading off on holidays, others unable to cope with the pressure of being full-time carers. Emergency staff are increasingly concerned and frustrated by the added burden of frail aged patients who arrive at their doorstep at Christmas, Easter and long weekends.

Puberty blues: the trials of young girls growing up faster than ever


More girls aged 10 and 11 are losing their childhoods to early puberty, prompting calls from sexual health experts and parents for schools to do more to meet their physical and emotional needs. Increasing numbers of Australian girls are starting puberty early and the age of menarche (the onset of menstruation) is declining, meaning more girls in grades 5 and 6 are getting their periods. The implications of earlier puberty can be profound: shortened childhood, earlier sexualisation, potential for younger sexual experiences and decreased self-esteem. There are multiple factors driving the trend: rising obesity, better nutrition and even the increased rates of family break-up. Some point to later school starting age as a partial explanation for why numbers of girls are noticeably more developed than their mothers were in grade 6.

Priest urges end to 'forced' religious education

The Age

An Anglican priest has vowed to stop teaching religious education lessons run by the Christian Access Ministries group because it is a ''conflict of interest'' and the classes are being forced upon schools. Father Craig D'Alton, who taught the controversial special religious instruction last year at North Melbourne Primary School, said he felt he was in the classroom under false pretences. Religious education teachers are banned from proselytising in schools, but Father D'Alton said those who held a church office were obliged by their vows to be evangelists.

Equality chief lashes mooted law changes

The Age

The state's equal opportunity commissioner has raised concerns about the Baillieu government winding back her power to investigate serious allegations of discrimination at a time when complaints are "going through the roof". Figures from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission show racial prejudice and sexual harassment complaints have risen sharply in the past 12 months.

Case of poor judgment - US preacher Harold Camping gets it wrong again

They spent months warning the world of the apocalypse, some giving away earthly belongings or draining their bank accounts. And so they waited, eagerly or anxiously, for the appointed hour to arrive. Nothing. When 6pm came and went at various spots around the globe, and nothing extraordinary emerged. In Australia and New Zealand, early target of the prediction of Armageddon, and across the world, the deadline was greeted with scepticism and humour. "People are making jokes like there's no tomorrow," was one of the top tweets.