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.




Push for sterility payment for addicted

Jacqui Jones - Newcastele Herald

An organisation that pays drug addicts and alcoholics to be surgically sterilised or use long-term contraception wants to set up in the Hunter, having received requests from addicts and workers in the field. Project Prevention operates in the United States and the United Kingdom, paying $US300 or £200 to women and men addicted to drugs or alcohol who agree to have their tubes tied or get a vasectomy, or use long-acting contraceptives, such as intrauterine devices or implants. The group says its aims to protect children, reduce the social welfare burden on taxpayers and help addicts. It says growing numbers of babies are being born with foetal alcohol syndrome or drug-related conditions, with many placed in foster care.

Children & Family

De factos tell all in property disputes

Farah Farouque - SMH

Sometimes it just might pay to get married. Courts trying to determine whether former de factos should be given the legal status of spouses in property disputes are having to delve into personal details of people's romantic lives and household habits as never before. With former de factos now able to litigate property claims under the Family Law Act, judges and magistrates are accepting as evidence to prove that a de facto relationship existed such things as endearments written in Valentine's Day and birthday cards, racy texts, heartfelt emails, and even details of lingerie worn.

You can have a friendly divorce

Callie Watson - The Advertiser

Divorce does not have to be nasty and perceptions that amicable separations are impossible are off the mark, experts say. While disputes are almost always inevitable when a marriage comes to an end, Queensland University of Technology family law expert Donna Cooper says an abundance of research showing the negative effect family conflict can have on children is finally sinking in with separating parents. "There's always been a lot of research saying that arguing, conflict, isn't good for the children - in the last few years it has exploded," Ms Cooper said.

Fathers cut off from kids

Jennie Dell - Coffs Coast Advocate

The relationship is dead. Mummy's going her way and Daddy his. But what about the children? There are many ways of dealing with custody and access after separation. In the best scenarios, caring parents will acknowledge that children love both of them and will be saddened by the loss of either. The courts support that.

Drugs & Alcohol

'Target party hosts who allow alcohol' - Police Commissioner

Katie Robertson - PerthNow

Party hosts who give alcohol to teens without their parents' permission could be charged with an offence, if WA's Police Commissioner has his way. Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan said today he would like to see laws introduced to target negligent party hosts, in a further bid to crack down on out-of-control parties. His comments come after a horror weekend for police which saw at least 10 parties requiring police attendance and a 37-year-old policeman knocked unconscious.

Booze cheaper than water in Perth

Brooke Bannister - ABC

A supermarket advertisement has sparked debate on the price of alcohol in Perth after another weekend was marred by alcohol-fuelled violence. A large supermarket chain advertised three, five litre casks of wine on special for $30 when bought together, which works out at $2 a litre. Associate Professor Anthony Shakeshaft at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre says large retailers slashing prices and competing for the sales of an addictive drug is problematic.

Financial giant linked to drug cash

Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker - SMH

Representatives of American financial giant Western Union are suspected of having helped to move tens of millions of dollars in drug money out of Australia over the past five years, according to inquiries by federal law enforcement agencies. Police investigations have also identified the branch of a well-known Australian bank remitting millions of dollars out of the country on behalf of organised crime figures from the Balkans.


Male teachers finding more roles in private schools

Breanna Tucker - SMH

Just like the rest of the nation, Canberra's non-government schools have proven they're outstripping the public sector in attracting male teaching staff. Latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the ACT's non-government schools have recorded a 27 per cent increase in male teaching numbers since 1997 compared with an increase of just 1 per cent in the public sector.

Islamic school's DA consent invalid

Louise Hall, Paul Bibby - SMH

Students at an Islamic school in south-west Sydney could be forced out of their classrooms next year after a court found the development consent granted by the local council was invalid. The Land and Environment Court ruled the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils was not allowed to build or run the Malek Fahd Islamic School on its Hoxton Park site because Liverpool Council failed properly to consider the environmental impacts of the development.

Jail for Catholic Education fraudster

Elizabeth Byrne - The Canberra Times

A 50-year-old man who defrauded the Catholic Education Office in Canberra of $1.2 million has been sentenced to six and a half year jail. Timothy Patrick Cousins from Calwell pleaded guilty to more than 150 charges of obtaining property by deception, unauthorised modification of data and theft. He took the money over six years, directing it into his own accounts, before an anonymous letter alerted the Catholic Education Office of the issue in 2010.


Star casino inquiry to be widened


The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority has announced it is extending an inquiry into the sacking of The Star casino boss Sid Vaikunta. The inquiry by Gail Furness SC was to be conducted in private and report back by April 5. But Liquor and Gaming Authority head Chris Sidoti says Ms Furness has announced that she wants to hold public hearings and amend the terms of reference to consider three new elements.


Analyst sees nightmare scenario for Labor

Peter Martin - SMH

Labor would be left without a single seat in Queensland if the state voted federally the way it did on Saturday night. The ABC's election analyst, Antony Green, said the numbers point to a federal wipeout for Labor in Queensland, with no seats remaining - not even those of the Deputy Prime Minister, Wayne Swan, the Trade Minister, Craig Emerson, or the former leader Kevin Rudd.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard vows to 'knuckle down' after Labor's loss in Queensland election

Phillip Hudson - AdelaideNow

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has pledged to "knuckle down" after being shocked by the scale of Labor's loss in the Queensland election. But Ms Gillard said there will be no changes to the carbon tax which begins in less than 100 days. In her first comments since the state election wipeout for Labor, the PM took concerns about trust and broken promises head on, saying she always did what she believed was right for Australia's future.

I'm the one you can trust, says PM


Julia Gillard has tackled head on her principal perceived weakness among voters by framing the next federal election as being about trust. After the routing of the Labor government in Queensland on Saturday put the Prime Minister's trustworthiness at the centre of the political debate, Ms Gillard went on the front foot yesterday, mimicking the strategy John Howard adopted at the start of the 2004 election campaign.

Canberra looking alone in holding back a blue tide

David Humphries - SMH

Canberra (population 360,000) appears the likely fly in the ointment in denying the Liberal and National parties only the third clean sweep of Australian political jurisdictions (population 22 million), but it won't stop conservatives from one of the more remarkable turnarounds. Four years and five months ago, Kevin Rudd became prime minister and Labor completed the grand slam by holding office not only federally but in every territory and state. The clean sweep (having previously occurred only in 1969-70, when territories did not have self-government) lasted until Labor lost government in Western Australia in August 2008.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

See where Christian church growth is 'explosive'


One of the world’s premiere organizations for spreading the message of the Bible in restricted nations says the underground Christian church in Iran is experiencing “explosive” growth. “Forty years ago an estimated 200 Muslim Background Believers were living in Iran,” says a new report from Open Doors USA. “Today the estimation is 370,000 MBBs.”


Archbishop of Canterbury calls it a day

Godless Gross - SMH

After nine years, Dr Rowan Williams will flee from the lofty heights as Archbishop of Canterbury to the refuge of academia. The Archbishop is head of the Anglican Communion, the third biggest Christian Communion after Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Anglicanism, with more than 85 million adherents really matters. The travails of Dr Williams are a case study of the stresses that occur when change and modernity assail a venerable faith. It has been an impossible time to be the leader. The blustery winds of conflict and incompatibility are blowing through the naves and transepts.

Maybe it's Habib who should apologise for outlandish claims

Gerard Henderson - SMH

Mamdouh Habib, 2: Australian government, zip. That's a fair interpretation of the media's assessment of the findings of Vivienne Thom, Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), in relation to the actions of Australian government agencies concerning Habib's arrest and detention overseas from 2001 to 2005. However, this is a substantial misreading of the unclassified version of the IGIS report, which completely discredits the case Habib and his supporters have run against the government for close to a decade. The taxpayer-funded ABC was the most egregious offender.

Blueprint for future needs to address loneliness, says report

Kelly Burke, Amy McNeilage - SMH

The design of our future cities must change to combat the scourge of loneliness, an independent public policy think tank has warned. With the number of single person dwellings now the fastest growing household type, social isolation is as big a potential problem to older Australians as declining health and limited income, the Grattan Institute said, with those over the age of 85 predicted to quadruple to 1.8 million in the next four decades.