ACL compiles a daily media monitoring service of stories of interest to the Christian constituency relating to children, family, drugs and alcohol, marriage, human rights, religious freedom etc. Visit the ACL’s website each day to see what’s of interest in the news. Please note that selection of the articles does not represent ACL endorsement of the content.


Charities & NFP

Not-for-profit organisations make a meal out of FBT exemptions

Judith Sloan - The Australian

Let's face it, this government has not had a lot of success with tax reform. The commissioning of the Australian Future Tax System Review was in fact a promising start by the government, notwithstanding the fundamental governance mistake of appointing then Treasury secretary Ken Henry to chair the review panel. In a refreshing outbreak of clear thinking, this point has been acknowledged by the Community Council of Australia and the Australian Christian Lobby, with both groups backing a scaling back of the FBT concessions.


Grattan quits Age with call for diversity

Daniel Hurst - The Age

Veteran political journalist Michelle Grattan has stressed the need for a diversity of voices on announcing her resignation as political editor of The Age. Ms Grattan said: ''Diversity matters because we need many voices - as many as possible commenting on politics and interpreting politics and I think what we're seeing at the moment is too much concentration of voices, frankly.'' Ms Grattan, one of Australia's most respected and awarded political journalists, confirmed on Monday she was taking on a teaching role at The University of Canberra.


Death bill bid for 2013


Tasmanians are being encouraged to comment on a long-awaited discussion paper about voluntary euthanasia. Premier Lara Giddings and Greens Leader Nick McKim have released the paper which spells out 15 requirements for terminally ill patients. They include being over 18, a Tasmanian resident, mentally competent, giving written and oral consent and being in the last stages of a terminal illness. The Australian Christian Lobby says it is not true that 80 per cent of Tasmanians support voluntary euthanasia.

Tas euthanasia paper attracts criticism


Religious organisations in Tasmania have spoken out to oppose a discussion paper on giving the terminally ill the right to die. Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings and Greens leader Nick McKim on Monday sought comment on a paper that proposes a model of voluntary assisted death. They plan to draft a joint private members' bill later this year and estimate it could apply to about eight cases of voluntary euthanasia in Tasmania annually. The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) on Monday criticised the model as "not safe", citing fears of coercion and abuse of elderly people.

Tasmanian MLCs prepare to tackle the hot topics in 2013

Isabel Bird - The Examiner

North and North-West MLCs appear to be sticking to their 2012 positions on same-sex marriage - one of the critical issues they will decide in the next few months. This year the Tasmanian Parliament will sit for 42 days to deal with legislation tackling same- sex marriage, anti-discrimination and dying with dignity.

Does Tasmania need an intervention?

Natasha Cica - The Conversation.

Is Tasmania at a tipping point? While it is known to many of us through seductive tourism brochures showcasing the state’s pristine wilderness, gourmet magazine articles celebrating its burgeoning food culture and newspaper stories gasping at a world-leading art museum, the recent devastating bushfires serve as a stark reminder that all is not as it seems.


Europol uncovers vast match-fixing network


European police warned that the integrity of football was at stake, as they revealed they had smashed a criminal network fixing hundreds of matches, including in the Champions League and World Cup qualifiers. Europol said a five-country probe had identified 380 suspicious matches targeted by a Singapore-based betting cartel, whose illegal activities stretched to players, referees and officials across the world at all levels of the game.


UK govt defiant on gay marriage bill

Joe Churcher - SMH

Conservative anger over same-sex marriage plans will not prevent the British government pushing ahead with legislation, Culture Secretary Maria Miller says. In a staunch defence of the plans on the eve of a parliamentary vote that has split the ranks, she said it was in line with the party's "progressive" past on issues such as slavery. At least 100 Tory MPs are expected to vote against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill when it faces its first Commons hurdle on Tuesday.


Seselja to challenge Humphries for ACT Senate seat

Ross Peake, Noel Towell - Canberra Times

Zed Seselja has resigned as leader of the Canberra Liberals to challenge ACT Senator Gary Humphries for his Upper House seat. The Liberals’ eight MLAs will gather in one week to elect a new leader for the territory’s branch. Mr Seselja officially announced his move at a press conference at the Assembly early on Monday afternoon, after serving just three months as member for Brindabella, the electorate where he moved before October’s territory election. The announcement will leave Mr Seselja in a head-to-head race for pre-selection with Senator Humphries who has held the seat since 2002.

ACT Liberal leader Zed Seselja to challenge Senator Gary Humphries


ACT Opposition Leader Zed Seselja has announced he will challenge sitting senator Gary Humphries for the Liberal Party preselection for the Senate. Senator Humphries has been a senator for the Territory since 2003. Mr Seselja, who has led the Canberra Liberals at the past two ACT elections, announced his bid for the Senate today. He told reporters he thought he was the best person in the ACT to represent the Liberal Party in the Senate.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Sex slaves forced to work 20-hour days, court hears

Stephanie Gardiner - SMH

A north shore brothel madam brought six women to Australia and forced them to work 20 hours every day, ordering them to perform sex acts they had refused, a court has heard. Chee Mei Wong, 39, has pleaded not guilty to seven charges, including that she ran a brothel that involved the sexual servitude of the women between 2008 and 2010. Crown prosecutor Carolyn Davenport, SC, said Ms Wong, who called herself "Yoko", recruited the women from Malaysia and enrolled them in courses so they could get student visas, which allowed them to work a maximum of 20 hours per week.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Christian man mortally wounded in Baluchistan, Pakistan for refusing to convert to Islam

Jibran Khan - Asia News

Younas Masih, 55, died this afternoon after days in agony. Last Thursday, a gunman shot him five times as he made his way home from work. Recently, his co-workers had tried to force him to embrace Islam. Police has refused so far to open an investigation into his murder. Masih worked for a company in Chaman. His friends describe him as honest and reliable. Strong in his Christian faith, he was regularly involved in his local parish.


The lust that dare not speak its name

Evelyn Tsitas - On Line Opinion

There are few things more disturbing for many people than human-animal sex. I can still recall the shocked face of a woman in the university cafeteria after a paper on zoophilia at the Minding Animals conference in Utrecht in 2012. I asked her if she was all right. "Well, I wasn't expecting to hear that," she said, obviously distressed. "I thought zoophilia was about – zoos."