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.


Children & Family

Single parents fear losing homes


Some single parent families fear losing their homes after having their benefits cut, a support group says. About 84,000 single parents were moved from the single parent payment to the Newstart unemployment benefit in January as a cost saving measure by the federal government. Terese Edwards, from the National Council of Single Mothers and Their Children, said the change had left some struggling to keep a roof over their heads as they tried to live on a payment that was well below the poverty line.

Donor Conception and Surrogacy

Government shelves surrogacy ban plans

Bridie Jabour - Brisbane Times

The state government has quietly shelved legislation to ban gay couples and single mothers from using altruistic surrogacy to have children. In what one Liberal National Party MP called a ‘‘brain-snap’’ Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie announced the proposal at a late night session of parliament last June while debating amendments to the civil union legislation.

Will we apologise to children removed from surrogate mothers?

Angela Shanahan – The Australian

Many outside the realm of political intrigue were disturbed by the events last Thursday. I am not talking about the attempt to get rid of Julia Gillard. Many of us were appalled by the sheer hypocrisy generated by that irksome modern phenomenon, the institutional apology. Generally, I don't believe in mass apologies; they have taken the place of personal moral culpability and cheapened contrition, even when an institutional policy needs to be abrogated.

Drugs & Alcohol

Liquorland breaches advertising code

Eli Greenblat - SMH

Coles-owned Liquorland has been found in breach of a voluntary code of practice in its TV advertising with the chain's ads accused of encouraging binge drinking, underage drinking and for portraying a improper link between alcohol and sport. The Alcoholic Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC), led by its chief adjudicator and former Keating government attorney-general Michael Lavarch, has admonished five Liquorland ads that revolved around similar scenes of young adults partying, playing sport, engaging in social activities while also grasping large quantities of either wine, spirits or beer.


Australian schools 'facing psychological health crisis'


Australian schools need more psychologists to combat a crisis of cyber-bullying, self-harm and suicide attempt among students, experts say. With one school psychologist for every 3,000 students in some states and territories, psychologists say students are not getting the mental health support they need. Australian and overseas experts in school psychology are meeting in Melbourne today to discuss the issue.


Container deposit schemes work – and that's what matters

Tristan Knowles - Online Opinion

Why are the beverage giants fighting tooth-and-nail to stop the spread of container deposit schemes – arrangements that are proven to cut down on litter and increase recycling rates? Container deposit laws seem like a no-brainer. A government enacts a law that allows people to get 10c per item when they return an empty soft drink or other bottle to authorised collection centres. The big drinks manufacturers get to look like they are doing something to encourage recycling and discourage litter – a problem to which they make a significant contribution. Surely the soft drink giants would support these schemes? Wrong.


The Liverpool Pathway is very disturbing

The Windsor Star

I want to draw your attention to this subject which you can Google for more information. It is regarding the ethics of euthanasia and how this is impacting severely ill seniors and their relatives in Britain. Many of them are increasingly worried about the so-called Liverpool pathway, as are the seriously physically challenged. Not all patients or their relatives are informed by the medical staff that the patient has been placed on this Pathway and as the patient has food and life support withdrawn from them at this point, this has serious ethical and legal ramifications. Some patients are unaware that they are being allowed to die and did not give their consent.


Waterhouse to face gambling inquiry

Heath Aston - SMH

Bookmaker Tom Waterhouse will be called to attend a specially convened parliamentary hearing into the spread of gambling into live sporting broadcasts. The 30-year-old Waterhouse has a multimillion-dollar deal with Channel Nine to exclusively spruik odds during football coverage but questions are being asked in Canberra as to whether he is sidestepping a new code of conduct designed to delineate the roles of commentator and bookmaker. After paying $15 million for the privilege, Waterhouse has been embedded with the Nine commentary team for NRL broadcasts, updating the changing odds but also giving his opinion on play.

Chips down for Packer casino

Sean Nicholls - SMH

Labor is threatening to withdraw support for James Packer’s push for a second Sydney casino because of continuing government secrecy over key aspects of the proposal. The threat comes as the Department of Premier and Cabinet applied extraordinary secrecy provisions to suppress key documents about the project and polling revealed more than half of NSW voters oppose a second casino.

Ex-AFL player joins problem gambling fight


Former AFL player Daniel Ward says gambling was like a drug that consumed his whole life as he urged other problem gamblers to seek help. The former addict and Melbourne Demons player says he would go to bed swearing he wouldn't gamble, only to wake up and concoct new ways to get his hands on money.


Mental health warning for life post-Afghanistan


The former commander of Australian forces in Afghanistan, Major General John Cantwell, has warned of a "tidal wave" of psychological problems as Australian troops pull out of the war-torn country. Defence Minister Stephen Smith today announced that most of Australia's troops would come home by the end of the year, as the multi-national base at Tarin Kot is shut down. Australia's involvement in the troubled region has dragged on for 12 years and claimed the lives of 39 Australian soldiers, while hundreds more have been injured.


Report reveals areas for improvement in Indigenous health

Margaret Burin - ABC

A new report by the University Centre for Rural Heath provides a snapshot of health and disease issues in the northern New South Wales Aboriginal community. Its chief author says mental well being is key to closing the gap between Indigenous and non Indigenous Australians.


US Supreme Court considers gay marriage ban


The US Supreme Court is treading cautiously as it considers gay marriage, with justices appearing hesitant to deliver a sweeping historic verdict on the emotionally-charged issue. The US Supreme Court is treading cautiously as it considers gay marriage, with justices appearing hesitant to deliver a sweeping historic verdict on the emotionally-charged issue.

NZ: Shock poll over gay marriage bill

Isaac Davison - New Zealand Herald

Public opposition to same-sex marriage has grown significantly since a law change to legalise it came before Parliament, a Herald DigiPoll survey shows. Same-sex marriage campaigners blame scaremongering by religious groups for the increase in opposition, saying lobbying has intensified as the bill progresses through Parliament. Opponents of gay marriage say the jump shows people are waking up to the negative social effects of changing the Marriage Act.

Gay marriage opponents mass in Paris for final rally


Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in a final protest in Paris against a bill to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption. There were scuffles and police fired tear gas as the protest spilled over onto the Champs Elysees, the avenue which runs past the president's palace. Interior Minister Manuel Valls said there had been dozens of arrests. France's Senate is due to debate the bill next month after it was passed by the lower house of parliament.

Overseas Aid

Thousands of children at risk in Africa


A lack of food and the use of child soldiers is endangering the lives of thousands of children in the Central African Republic, the UN is warning. The lives of thousands of children are at risk in coup-hit Central Africa because of a lack of access to basic aid, food shortages and the ongoing use of child soldiers, the United Nations says.


Julia Gillard to leave Australians in $165 billion dollars worth of debt this term alone

John Rolfe and Gemma Jones - News Limited Network

Gillard Government debt levels are forecast to blow out by 60 per cent to $165 billion in this term alone - equal to more than $14,000 for every working Australian. Analysis of Budget documents reveals that between the 2010 election and Federal Treasury's update in October last year, the 2012-13 net debt estimate rose $54 billion to $144 billion.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Judge cries jailing prostitute murderer


A NSW Supreme Court judge has broken down in tears as she sentenced a man who murdered a prostitute with a tomahawk to at least 14 years in jail. The last moments of 28-year-old Rebecca Apps' life must have been "spent in terror, horrific pain and despair", Justice Christine Adamson said as she sentenced David John Dunn, 29, to a maximum of 20-and-a-half years jail on Tuesday.

Creditors close in on besieged punter and brothel owner

Kate McClymont - SMH

The financial woes of brothel owner and leviathan punter Eddie Hayson continue with the repossession of his luxury car on Monday. Mr Hayson's black Porsche Cayenne, worth an estimated $180,000 new, was seen being loaded onto a tow truck at the back of Mr Hayson's brothel, Stiletto, in Camperdown.


Politicians argue as asylum-seekers die

Joe Kelly - The Australian

Julia Gillard has been accused of failing to revamp her Malaysian people-swap deal to provide more human rights protection, as recommended by her expert panel, as she used the failed agreement to blame Tony Abbott for the dramatic increase in boat arrivals. A heated political row over the Malaysian deal erupted yesterday, with each side of politics blaming the other for impeding a solution to the rolling border protection crisis. The Leader of the Opposition said the Prime Minister was hiding behind the failed Malaysian deal as an excuse for inaction and he predicted that more people would die at sea.

Authorities went to aid of another asylum boat on day of tragedy

Gemma Jones - News Limited Network

Authorities went to the aid of another asylum seeker boat in distress off Christmas Island yesterday after the vessel's engine failed. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority told the ABC it received a distress call from the boat on Sunday evening. Crew from the navy ship HMAS Bundaberg boarded the boat yesterday morning. Last night it was revealed another three boats, carrying almost 150 people, had arrived over the previous 24 hours.

Sexualisation of Society

Designer dunnies dashed by controversy return to bar after patron support at The Rocks

James Gorman - The Sydney Telegraph

A Sydney restaurant forced to remove its lip-shaped men's urinals last year after a storm of controversy has quietly reinstalled them because of "public support". Ananas Bar and Brasserie at The Rocks gained international attention when it opened last September nothing to do with the decor, the service or the food. It was the set of red-lipped urinals in the men's bathroom, modelled on the iconic logo of The Rolling Stones, that raised ire.