After a dramatic day in Victorian politics, the Hon. Dr Denis Napthine was installed as Premier last night at Government House.

The new Premier now leads the Victorian Government with a majority of 44 to 43, relying on the vote of the now Independent MP Geoff Shaw to pass legislation, including supply.

The Australian Christian Lobby maintains strong bi-partisan relationships with politicians in Victoria and will continue to engage with Members of Parliament to advance issues for the Christian constituency in this new landscape.

The Victorian Director, Dan Flynn, has today written to former Premier Ted Baillieu acknowledging his substantial contribution to Victoria as Premier. ACL enjoyed a good relationship with Ted Baillieu who addressed the Make it Count Forum ahead of the 2010 Election.

Similarly, we look forward to working with Premier Napthine on issues important to the Christian constituency.

The issue of moderating the provisions of the Abortion Law Reform Act 2008 to reduce the number of abortions in Victoria, and better reflect public consensus, continues to be a concern for Victorian Christians.

Relevant to this issue, Premier Napthine, in September 2008 ,voted for amendments to the Abortion Law Reform Bill including a ban on partial birth abortion, offering women independent counselling and notifying a parent of a child seeking an abortion.

In the course of debating the Bill, he said that it was “repugnant that a doctor who has a conscientious objection to abortion - and many doctors and health professionals do - will be forced by this legislation to refer a woman to a practitioner who they know will perform an abortion” (Vic Hansard 9 September 2008, pg.3354)

There are many issues the New Premier will need to address. In the midst of important economic and service provision issues, including education, health and transport the Premier should take a lead in moderating the provisions of Victoria’s Abortion Law Act, to protect Victoria’s women and unborn children.