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

More cases of parents alienated, courts find

Adele Horne - SMH

More warring parents in Family Court disputes are claiming former partners have poisoned their children against them, a new study shows. It reveals fathers are almost as likely as mothers to be guilty of deliberately alienating children from the other parent. Nicholas Bala, a professor of law at Queens University, Canada, and an expert in parental alienation, will present his findings from Australian data at a seminar in Melbourne later this month at the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Government considers reverse mortgage scheme to fix aged care funding

Samantha Maiden - The Sunday Telegraph

A reverse mortgage scheme to protect seniors against a fire sale of the family home to pay for aged care is being considered by the government. The reforms could also soften the blow of forcing seniors to pay a greater share of the true cost of high-level nursing home care - a key recommendation of last year's Productivity Commission report into aged care. The two options under consideration are beefed-up regulation for reverse mortgages or a government-backed, low-interest scheme.


Mardi Gras applies to screen gay sex movies

Andrew Taylor - SMH

The Mardi Gras Film Festival expects to be granted an exemption from classification laws so it can screen four films featuring real sex acts. Despite the law prohibiting the public screening of X-rated films in NSW, the festival's director, Lex Lindsay, said: ''We are confident the classification board will be satisfied with our rationale for screening these works … and that the content in each of these works, whilst being sexually explicit, is of a nature and artistic standard suitable for public screenings to a group of educated and interested adults.''

Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Scientists want kids with three parents to help eradicate genetic disease

Rosie Squires - The Sunday Telegraph

Sydney scientists want to create designer babies with the DNA of three parents to prevent children inheriting life-threatening diseases. IVF specialists argue they could eradicate mitochondrial mutations - which can cause multi-organ failure and fatal heart, liver and muscle conditions - by removing defective genes and replacing them with healthy DNA from a donor. The procedure, described by scientific opponents as "fraught with danger", would ensure women with the severe genetic condition do not pass it on to their children.

Drugs & Alcohol

Get tough on drug drivers - NRMA


The NRMA says NSW courts are too lenient with motorists convicted of driving under the influence of drugs. The motoring group has seized on statistics from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research to call for tougher action against drug drivers. "(It) is illegal, it is dangerous and it can kill," said NRMA Motoring & Services president Wendy Machin. From 2007 to 2010, more than 27 per cent of motorists convicted of driving with illicit drugs in their system got off penalty free, the figures show.


Rapid obsolescence as a form of waste

Valerie Yule - Online Opinion

I have a fantasy that Stonehenge is all that remains today of an electronic civilisation. The rest is lost. Half of all my life’s work is lost on obsolete technology – on three forms of tape recording, Deskmate word processing, Amiga animation, floppies, Betacam, microfiche, and old editions of modern programs. All that remains of it is what I put on that old, old, technology, paper. Today I want to put tape recordings of irreplaceable oral history onto CDs or DVDs, but I cannot find the technology to do so. And today school libraries are throwing out books and relying on electronic technology!


Baillieu breaks pokie vow

Farrah Tomazin - SMH

The state government has reneged on an election promise to implement voluntary precommitment pokies technology in all Victorian gaming venues by 2013, delaying action on the vow beyond the next state election. The federal government and the anti-pokies lobby have slammed the decision, with Canberra accusing Victoria of ''passing the buck'' and gambling activists saying there's no reason the state can't get on with it.

Costello gutted over Vic pokies backflip

Melissa Jenkins - SMH

Long-time anti-gambling campaigner the Rev Tim Costello has savaged the Victorian government's broken election promise on voluntary pokies pre-commitment, saying he has given up on state governments. The chair of the National Churches Gambling Taskforce was "shattered" when Prime Minister Julia Gillard broke her agreement with independent federal MP Andrew Wilkie to legislate for a national roll-out of mandatory pre-commitment technology by May 8 this year.

Anti-gambling pamphlets direct users to TAB hotline


The Victorian Government has been forced to pulp pamphlets aimed at problem gamblers which directed them to a phone line encouraging them to bet. The pamphlet for people who want to exclude themselves from gaming venues directs callers to a TAB hotline, where gambling products are promoted. Victorian Gaming Minister Michael O'Brien says it was an oversight.


Gay debate delayed to lift support

Stephanie Peatling - SMH

The gay marriage debate in Parliament will be pushed back to later in the year to give advocates for change more time to garner enough support to have legislation for same sex marriage passed. Instead of the debate being held immediately - which would have seen the bill defeated - the gay marriage campaign has changed focus to increase pressure on Tony Abbott to change his mind and allow opposition MPs a conscience vote.

Gay couple plan happy trip to court

Amy Remeikis - SMH

When the Michaels' first child is born in April, they want it to know it came into the world as part of a loving family. A loving, legally recognised, family. Suzanne, 29, and partner Shannon, 30, were married in Canada a little more than two years ago, but their union was not recognised by Australian authorities.

Overseas Aid

Rudd's itinerary anywhere but PNG

Rowan Callick - The Australian

Kevin Rudd, the widest-travelling foreign minister in the nation's history, is coming under fire for neglecting the prolonged crisis closest to home, in Australia's nearest neighbour, Papua New Guinea. "Of course we have a lot at stake in the crisis," says Hugh White, the head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University. "But there is little any Australian leader can do to help unless they have real standing within PNG themselves - unless they really know the players in PNG and are known and respected by them."


Poll throws Gillard a lifeline

Phillip Coorey - SMH

Julia Gillard has been handed a lifeline with the latest Herald/Nielsen poll showing support for the Prime Minister and her government increasing sharply. Despite a tumultuous start to the year for the government prompting a renewed bout of leadership speculation, the poll shows Labor's primary support rising 4 percentage points to 33 per cent since December, its highest level in almost a year.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Seoul asks for help to stem sex slavery


The South Korean government is working with Australian police to crack down on organised-crime gangs bringing women here as sex slaves. The Koreans have met top foreign affairs and immigration officials, along with the Australian Federal Police, to discuss better ways to put a stop to Korean women working in the Australian sex industry. They are particularly concerned about ''debt bondage or trafficking'' scams.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Pakistani Christian leader addresses challenges that Christians in his country are facing

Dan Wooding - ASSIST Ministries

Mr. Riaz Anjum, Chairman of the Pakistan Christian Movement and an advocate who is practicing as a private lawyer in Pakistan, has told a conference in Rawalpindi, about the many challenges facing Christians in his country. Speaking at a special event that took place on Thursday, January 26, 2012, and attended by Christian political parties, clergy and human rights activists, Anjum said, “There is no doubt that poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, and lack of quality education, are challenges for Pakistani Christians, but our politicians have failed to address these issues.”

Bath Christian group's 'God can heal' adverts banned


A Christian group has been banned from claiming that God can heal illnesses on its website and in leaflets. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it had concluded that the adverts by Healing on the Streets (HOTS) - Bath, were misleading. It said a leaflet available to download from the group's website said: "Need Healing? God can heal today!" The group, based in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, said it was disappointed with the decision and would appeal.


Tankard Reist’s political concealment

Jacinda Woodhead – ABC Drum

What's genuinely amazing about the recent condemnation of Melinda Tankard Reist, who seems to have become the face of women's oppression in Australia, is the notion that she is the first person to have identified as feminist and pro-life.