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Pages tagged "abbott"
Christian Lobby congratulates newly-elected Gillard Government
· September 08, 2010 10:00 AM
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today congratulated Julia Gillard and her ALP team on their election victory and said they looked forward to working with the newly-elected Government on many issues of interest to Christians.
“Although Ms Gillard has declared her own lack of religious belief, we appreciate the fact that she went out of her way to engage with the Christian constituency during a frenetic election campaign and has also acknowledged the importance of Australia’s Christian heritage,” ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said today.
“Ms Gillard has also made strong commitments on a number of issues of concern to Christians, including her decision to continue and expand the popular school chaplaincy program, her commitment to retain the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman, and her support for ISP-level filtering of Refused Classification material. These are commitments she made clear would not be traded away in negotiations with the Australian Greens,” Mr Wallace said.
“Also very welcome have been Labor’s commitments to continue to tackle homelessness as a national priority (with the goal of halving homelessness by 2020), to work to close the life expectancy gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, and to continue to increase foreign aid funding,” he said.
“We look forward to liaising closely with the newly-elected Labor Government on a wide variety of matters ranging from lifting people out of poverty both in Australia and overseas, to addressing the sexualisation of children and promoting the health of families.”
Mr Wallace also conveyed the ACL’s commiserations to Tony Abbott and the Coalition on their election loss.
“They fought a solid campaign and it has been good to see the Coalition become reinvigorated under Tony Abbott’s leadership – particularly given the importance of having an effective Opposition in a democratic society.”
He added that it was encouraging to see the willingness with which both sides of politics engaged with the Christian constituency during the 2010 Federal election.
“We appreciated the attendance of both Mr Abbott and then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at our Make it Count event which was webcast live to churches throughout Australia on June 21, and also Julia Gillard’s willingness to made a video address to Christians and respond to the same questions on August 6. We also welcomed the responsiveness of both major parties and most minor parties to our election questionnaire on issues of concern to Christians.”
Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan on 0408 875 979
Jim Wallace post-election blog
· August 23, 2010 10:00 AM
By Jim Wallace, ACL Managing Director
Following a frenetic federal election campaign, the results are still uncertain, with the lead changing as final counting is completed and our heading for the first hung parliament Australia has experienced in 70 years.
Tony Abbott is to be congratulated on his achievement in bringing the Coalition to such a competitive position, but there will be many days of vote counting and negotiations ahead before either he or Julia Gillard will know who will lead the nation. For Christians it is an important time to pray and ask that a Godly influence be brought to bear on whichever side of politics is ultimately in a position to claim victory.
are saying, we may have to wait up to 10 days to learn whether Labor or Coalition will be able to form government with the support of independent and Greens MPs.
The outcome is certainly not predictable, even though three of the independents are in seats formerly held by the National Party and ideologically these MPs tend towards the conservative side. But all three (who in the past have had some divisions with the National Party) are making it clear that their allegiance is up in the air, and the broadband policy of both parties is sure to be a feature in negotiations with these rural independents. The new Greens MP for Melbourne, Adam Bandt, has made clear his support for Labor. The
result of voting in the West Australian seat of Hasluck could also greatly influence the outcome.
One factor that will greatly impact the character of the new parliament , although not unexpected, is what Greens’ leader Bob Brown is calling a
. The Greens will clearly hold the balance of power in the Senate from July next year, with Mr Brown claiming his party will end up holding nine seats in the Senate in total – this includes the lead candidate in NSW Lee Rhiannon (who proudly hails from a communist family) taking a Senate seat with the help of Sex Party preferences.
Obviously the Greens are relishing their increased position of power but there are some real concerns for the community here when you consider the party’s radical social agenda and their unwillingness to subject these social policies to Christian scrutiny when it came to replying to the ACL’s questions to political parties. Even in the last couple of days, the new Greens Member for Melbourne has listed support for same-sex marriage as one of his top issues, whereas this was one of the questions the Greens declined to respond to with our questionnaire.
Among other election results that may be of interest to Christians is the fact that, sadly, Liberal Senator Guy Barnett – a champion of Christian issues in Parliament over many years – appears unlikely to retain his Tasmanian seat which is tipped to go to Labor following a significant swing to Labor in that State.
Commentators are also indicating that Family First senator Steve Fielding appears likely to have lost his place, although there is a possibility that John Madigan from the socially-conservative Democratic Labor Party may pick up a Victorian Senate seat (following a Senate absence of 36 years).
Meanwhile in South Australia, two men of faith – Family First’s Bob Day and Liberals’ David Fawcett appear to be battling it out for the sixth Senate spot in that State. Elsewhere Family First hasn’t fared so well, although it has recorded a slight swing in first preferences to achieve 2.20 per cent of the vote while the Christian Democratic Party recorded 0.67 per cent.
There have also of course been many other permeations from the election results which I have not canvassed here – some of which will become clearer as counting continues.
Regardless of the final outcome, one particularly encouraging aspect of the 2010 federal election has been the willingness with which both sides of politics engaged with the Christian constituency. This is something we hope will continue as a new minority government is formed.
Gillard and Abbott talks to Christians to be broadcast on Foxtel
· August 15, 2010 10:00 AM
Pay television subscribers will have the chance to view Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott’s messages to the Christian constituency this Thursday night at 6:30pm.
Australian Christian Channel
will screen a 90 minute pre-election special featuring the ACL’s Make it Count event with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace’s recent interview with Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
For those without pay television, the leaders’ talks
can be viewed online here
Jim Wallace daily election blog – Sat Aug 14
· August 14, 2010 10:00 AM
By Jim Wallace, ACL Managing Director
Today’s revelation that the Coalition now trails Labor on a two party preferred basis may say more about the style of this campaign than anything else.
Modern politics has become a 24/7 media event and at no time is that more so than during an election campaign. The result is that party strategists adopt an approach that minimises the risk of losing, rather than strategising to win – the concern always being that a media gaff might derail their candidate’s campaign.
Unfortunately we, the voters, are invariably the losers in this. The often stilted performance by candidates more concerned to hide their real selves than project them, leaves you and I none the wiser about who they are or what they stand for. It has effectively neutralised leadership and the contending claims on what should be statesmanship, as a major factor in the election, and particularly between the two leaders of the major parties.
Ms Gillard clearly identified at the end of last week that this approach was taking her nowhere and it was reflected in the polls that put the Coalition ahead. The press at the time was full of: “Who is the real Julia?” However she is widely reported as having decided to put her minders advice aside and run on her intuition.
This has clearly paid dividends and it is now only to be hoped that, in the interests of giving us real choice, Tony Abbott will do the same.
Julia Gillard is well known for her charm and warmth by those close to her, but equally anyone who knows Tony Abbott knows that he has the refreshingly attractive quality for voters of exuding “what you see is what you get.” For Christians of course there is the added attraction of a strong Catholic faith.
If he too decides that coming off the ropes in the last round means its more up to him and his intuition than the advice of minders, we could yet have the close election we were promised.
‘2010 Make it Count’ – Prime Minister and Opposition Leader respond to Christian concerns
· June 22, 2010 10:00 AM
June 22, 2010
A gathering of many of Australia’s most senior denominational and church leaders – rarely paralleled in the nation’s history – last night heard both the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader speak of the valuable contribution the Christian faith has made to the nation and also respond to Christian concerns on issues ranging from indigenous welfare, refugees and climate change to marriage, chaplaincy and the sexualisation of children.
The ‘2010 Make it Count’ event, hosted by the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), was web-cast live last night to tens of thousands of Christians meeting in hundreds of churches across Australia.
It saw both Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott speak of their commitment to improving the lot of indigenous people and acknowledging Australia’s responsibility to provide protection for genuine refugees while defending their differing border protection policies.
Both leaders also reinforced their support for continuing the convention of Parliament being opened each day with the Lord’s Prayer, and to maintaining the status of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
Mr Wallace welcomed the willingness of Australia’s two major political leaders to engage with the Christian constituency and the reassurances they had given on the issue of whether their commitments to Christians might be traded away in a new Parliament if neither major party holds the balance of power in the Senate.
“This is an important issue in helping Christians determine the degree of confidence they can put in party commitments as we look towards a new Parliament where many commentators are tipping that neither Labor nor the Liberals will hold the balance of power in the Senate,” Mr Wallace said. “While neither Mr Rudd nor Mr Abbott could be completely categorical on this issue, Mr Rudd said his party wouldn’t be compromising its fundamental values and Mr Abbott said that there was nothing which he spoke of last night which he believed could be traded away to do a deal in the Senate.”
Mr Wallace also welcomed as a breakthrough Mr Abbott’s acknowledgement that the current media classification system is “broken” in terms of its role in the premature sexualisation of children and the need for another review of the system “tasked with a way to ensure proper community standards apply to all media”. He also welcomed both Mr Rudd and Mr Abbott’s support for the role of school chaplains and Mr Abbott’s commitment to funding until 2013 at least.
Mr Wallace said the ACL appreciated the strong support shown for the Make it Count event by a wide range of denominations and churches located across the breadth of Australia. “This was a landmark event for the Christian constituency and its success is a testament to the commitment of Christians across Australia to work towards a more moral, compassionate and caring society.”
Countdown to ‘2010 Make it Count’
· June 20, 2010 10:00 AM
With just four days until ‘2010 Make it Count’ momentum is building – with churches continuing to register and the mainstream media starting to take notice.
Writing in today’s
, emeritus professor John Warhurst says denominations and churches getting together is a vital factor in the Christian constiuency's influence of government.
“This is just the first step in building a platform for later election campaigning at the national and electorate level for ACL and the churches,” Mr Warhurst writes. Please click
to read the full article.
Churches across the nation taking part are from a wide cross-section of denominations, with venues ranging from Mount Isa Baptist Church in Queensland, Nhulunbuy Uniting Church in the Northern Territory and Hillsong Church in Sydney.
If your church hasn’t yet registered to receive the webcast yet please encourage them to do so as soon as possible. Please go to
for full details.
We also encourage all churches taking part in the event to email their congregations and urge them to come along to your local event!
If you church isn’t able to participate in the webcast, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. Go to
to find a list of broadcast locations - there's sure to be one near you.
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