Posted by David Hutt, NSW Director, Australian Christian Lobby

Last night we held our second candidates’ forum for the NSW election in the seat of Newcastle.  Candidates addressed a range of moral and social justice issues in response to questions submitted by the audience.

Here are some of the highlights.


Candidates were asked about their position on issues such as state-based same-sex marriage laws, reform of the Department of Community Services, decriminalisation of abortion, legalising euthanasia and support for public and independent schools.

Asked about same-sex marriage, Labor MP Jodie McKay said that while she is a Christian, “I am challenged on this issue.”  Independent candidate John Tate said his approach was to, “live and let live,” while Liberal candidate Tim Owen said he would need to give the issue more thought.

On abortion, Christian Democratic Party candidate Milton Caine stood out for his strong opposition to the decriminalisation of abortion.

All candidates expressed their concern for the difficult job facing Department of Community Services staff.  Liberal candidate Tim Owen called for DoCS resources to be better targeted while Socialist Alliance candidate, Zane Alcorn called for greater funding for social housing.  Greens candidate John Sutton praised DoCS workers for their commitment.  “Does DoCS need more money?” asked ALP MP Jodie McKay rhetorically, “Unfortunately, yes.”

All candidates stood opposed to any attempt to legalise abortion with the exception of John Sutton (Greens) and Zane Alcorn (Socialist Alliance).

All candidates voiced their support for public education.  Labor MP Jodie McKay said she supported the choice of parents to send their children to either a public or an independent school.  John Sutton (Greens) called for public funds to be redirected from wealthy private schools and to be transferred to public schools.

Special thanks to Ps Dave Connett and Goodlife Church for hosting the forum.