After a gruelling political campaign, Daniel Andrew’s incumbent ALP Government clearly defeated Mathew Guy’s Liberal/National Opposition to form government in Victoria.
Most Victorians evidently form their voting decision around how they feel the state is at and what will affect their family. Employment, economic growth, traffic, health and hospitals and crime all weigh heavily on why people vote the way they do.
But what can be expected of Labor regarding social policy in Victoria? Social policy impacts how we live with each other and what we value living side by side in Victoria.
One thing that struck me on election night was when Premier Andrews said his government is the most progressive government in the nation.
I understand – people love the notion of progress, of achievement, of a better brighter day ahead. But often the details in ‘progressive’ social policy are a long way from progressive.
In Premier Andrews’ last term, 2014-2018 the government’s policy implemented the following;
- Legalised euthanasia & assisted suicide,
- Effectively removed religious instruction from Victorian primary schools by pushing it out of classroom time and replacing it with ideological programmes that promote a dangerous agenda of sexualisation,
- Delivered on his promise to make Safe Schools compulsory in all Victorian High Schools. Safe Schools teaches “it is important to challenge our thinking beyond the binary constructs of male and female” and “gender identity does not necessarily relate to the sex a person is assigned at birth”,
- Criminalised people who offer practical support to a pregnant woman approaching an abortion clinic. Victorian Christian, Kathy Clubb now has a criminal record and is suffering the detriments of that, for offering such help within 150 metres of an abortion clinic.
- Moved to remove the ability of Christian organisations to selectively employ those who share their faith whilst making sure political parties keep this right.
The ALP Government this year proved to be even more ‘progressive’ than the Greens; establishing an injecting room for ice and cocaine in North Richmond.
So, going into his second term as Premier, what might we expect from Daniel Andrews as Premier?
In December 2016, the ALP Government attempted to ban Christian Schools and churches from employing all staff using the criteria of shared faith and values. The bill was defeated mercifully by just one vote in the Legislative Council. I think it is safe to assume this will be back on the agenda. Of course, like last time, political parties like the ALP, Greens and the Libs will retain this right because they won’t be able to function without it.
Daniel Andrews spoke to The Age this week of the anticipated new Legislative Council and said:
“I think the chamber might be a far more effective chamber in terms of getting things done than it was for the past four years.”
The ALP/Greens are likely to hold 20 of the 40 seats in the Legislative Council. This will mean the government may only need the support of just one minor party or independent to pass legislation.
You can expect the attack on Christian organisations to be back on the agenda.
Another bill defeated by one vote back in 2016, was a Birth Certificate Bill. This would have allowed a man to change his birth certificate to record he’d been born a woman if he now simply identified as a one. This gender erasing legislation would have made women-only facilities unsafe.
Similarly, dangerous legislation was passed by Labor and The Greens in the Tasmanian lower house last week.
Now in Tasmania, it is an offence to mis-gender a person, and it is an open question as to whether Christians may offend someone by simply saying what they believe. If Victoria is indeed the most progressive state in the nation, it will be interesting to see where that leads us.
On a different front, June next year heralds the commencement of Australia’s first ‘state authorised killing of the elderly and vulnerable in the name of care’ regime.
I know this sounds extreme – but unfortunately, I am not exaggerating, the euthanasia and assisted suicide regime, that sends people home alone to kill themselves with a yet to be determined drug, commences in seven months.
All these policies obviously ride in on the back of an immensely successful infrastructure program, the removal of level crossings, and promises of new rail programs linking the outer suburbs. People don’t agree with these kinds of social policy and polls continue to confirm this. However, so long as there is ‘high-vis’ imagery of economics and infrastructure, the undermining of our social values can be expected to continue.
These social changes run contrary to the values of most of the community so why are they being implemented?
That is a very good question!
Premier Andrews has said that he will govern for all Victorians. Excellent! We will take him up on that.
Please pray that as we reach out to Premier Andrews to share the concerns expressed here, there will be an open door.
The next four years will be critical in Victoria as the Australian Christian Lobby, school and faith communities engage with the Labor Government.
Lastly, but most importantly, THANK YOU to all the volunteers who shared in the blood sweat and tears of the recent election campaign — those who in the rain continued to talk to voters about values and the social policies that were at stake.
It is my prayer that together we can be salt and light to this new Parliament, raising a strong voice for truth in public life.