Downpour puts dampener on Toowoomba festival

Courier Mail

A Toowoomba festival has been cancelled after the main entry tent collapsed on Saturday night after a sudden downpour. More than 15,000 people were at the annual Easterfest at Queen's Park but at around 8pm people were ordered by emergency services to evacuate, while a man had to be rescued from his car on South and Mackenzie streets about 2km south of Queen's Park. A Department of Community Services spokeswoman said emergency services joined the local Disaster Management Group after fears of electrocution. ``Water has filled the top of the main pavilion. It has collapsed under the weight of the water,'' she said. ``There's ankle deep water and a risk of electrocution. Emergency services are stressing no one has been injured but there has been a staged evacuation.''

Values of this Easter season go far beyond any faith


Passover and Easter are upon us. I grew up knowing little about Passover. When my great-grandfather was still alive, my largely secular Jewish family celebrated it in a "two-four-six-eight-dig-in-don't-wait" manner. When he died, we barely marked it at all. I didn't know much about Easter either, other than that it involved my best friend getting seriously frocked up for her weekly foray to Church.

The radical love of the Cross


The Sunday Age last week had a front-page story about the loss of biblical literacy in Australia, especially amongst children. The story lamented the loss and contained some insightful comments, including from Prof. John Carroll: "The story of Good Friday and resurrection is floundering badly. If we lose the tragic Jesus story from the culture, we lose a lot. That symbol of the cross sits on top of Western civilisation."

Are Christians really the source of Oz values?

Online Opinion

It has become commonplace for the Australian Christian Lobby and some right-wing churches to claim Christianity is the source of Australian values. Tolerance, equality of opportunity and between genders, the fair go – yep, when it comes to these and other values Christians claim to have got there first.

The worst-kept secret: This Government’s just no good

The Punch

Hurrying along a Parliament House corridor this week, I was pulled aside by a Canberra insider with strong links to Labor.

Free to speak Court ruling protects students who oppose pro-gay event

World Mag

On April 15, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network marks a "Day of Silence" to promote "tolerance" of homosexuality and to encourage gay students and teachers to speak up.

School chaplain body says it has 'mission'

The Age

The Christian organisation that provides chaplains and religious instruction teachers in state schools has advertised its services as a ''mission'' in an area of Melbourne with a large Muslim population.

MPs angry at special deals for Gillard's 'key three'

The Age

Fededal MPs are in revolt over what they say are unfair perks and privileges granted to the independents in a deal that delivered Labor a second shot at government.

A Good Book is hard to find

The Age

At 1520 pages, 783,137 words and a retail price of $120, the latest edition of the King James Version of the Bible could be one of the saviours of the Australian bookshop industry.

Holy rolling on the radio

The Age

Tuning to the end of the dial in the car the other day, it was a revelation to come across a radio station that kept referring to itself as a "positive alternative". Although this sounds like niche marketing to people living with HIV, it was a station dedicated to Christian values, which was why Katrina and the Waves were belting out Walking on Sunshine.

Three is a magic number to help lift fertility rates

Herald Sun

A Victorian IVF pioneer is urging Australia to invest in a new controversial fertility technique that uses three biological parents to eradicate deadly genetic diseases after its approval in the UK.

Western leaders have condemned Syria for the deaths of at least 72 people in one of the bloodiest days of a month-long uprising

Herald Sun

The deaths signal no let-up from President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces have used live ammunition and tear gas against "Good Friday" demonstrators in several towns and cities nationwide, according to witnesses and activists.

Dump Labor's charter for crims

Herald Sun

Attorney-General Robert Clark's decision to order a parliamentary inquiry into Victoria's Charter of Human Rights is welcomed. Mr Clark is clearly not happy with the impact the charter -- introduced by former Labor attorney-general Rob Hulls in 2008 -- is having on the functioning of the law. The Sunday Herald Sun hopes the inquiry comes back with a finding that the charter should be torn up.