A Liberal NSW government has no intention of dealing with the devil but both party leaders acknowledge where faith and politics do and do not mix. State opposition leader Barry O'Farrell has taken another shot at the NSW Greens with a bizarre religious analogy, vowing never to do political deals with them if they gain the balance of power in the upper house. "We have no intention of doing deals with the devil ...," Mr O'Farrell said last night in Sydney before a group of Christian church leaders.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has backed ACT Liberal Senator Gary Humphries, who tabled a petition calling for a moratorium on Muslim immigration. The petition, signed by three people in Sydney, calls for a review of immigration policy be undertaken to ensure priority is given to Christians. Senator Humphries says he disagrees with the petition but he tabled it because he believes every citizen has a right to put their views to the Parliament. Mr Abbott says he also disagrees with the petition, but people have a right to put their views.
The Keneally government is heading for a defeat of ''historic proportions'' at next month's election, according to the first poll of the election campaign, which shows Labor could be reduced to as few as 13 seats in the new Parliament. The Herald/Nielsen poll shows the Coalition leads Labor by 66 per cent to 34 per cent on a two-party preferred basis, a swing of 18 per cent from the 2007 election result.
Deep ideological divisions have reopened inside the federal Coalition after Joe Hockey slapped down claims by Scott Morrison that the government was wasting taxpayers' money on the funerals of asylum seekers killed in the December boat tragedy. Only a week after the Coalition had a bitter fight over a shadow cabinet proposal to cut the foreign aid budget, Mr Morrison, the immigration spokesman, sparked another row by saying relatives of the bereaved should have paid their own way to Christmas Island for the funerals.
The Labor Party will not pursue decriminalisation of abortion, Kristina Keneally told a forum of Christian leaders at Parliament House last night. But the Premier was less committal about about legislation in South Australia, the only state to collect and publish data on abortions. When asked to commit to similar legislation in NSW, Ms Keneally replied: "Not here and not tonight. I do have some concerns about privacy issues, about how the data is collected and how it is interpreted.
Melbourne's Catholic Archdiocese has finally overhauled its sexual abuse inquiry process, more than a year after serious deficiencies were first exposed. The reforms will require the church's private sex abuse investigator, Peter O'Callaghan, QC, to seek permission from police before he notifies priests suspected of abuse that they are the subject of a covert police inquiry. The changes will also increase communication between senior police and the church in an effort to ensure that all abuse cases are handled appropriately.
Egypt’s long banned Muslim Brotherhood said Tuesday it intends to form a political party once democracy is established, as the country’s new military rulers launched a panel of experts to amend the country’s constitution to allow democratic elections later this year. The panel is to draw up changes within 10 days to end the monopoly that ousted President Hosni Mubarak’s ruling party once held, which it ensured through widespread election rigging. Generals from the Armed Forces Supreme Council, which now rules Egypt, said Tuesday the military wants to hand power to a government and elected president within six months, the firmest timetable yet outlined.
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