Gender & Sexuality
Freedoms & Public Christianity
Sexualisation of Society
Poverty and Justice
Pray for Parliament
Pages tagged "ACL New South Wales"
NSW Scripture enrolments down – Christians urged to speak up
· June 18, 2010 10:00 AM
David Hutt, 29 April 2010
As the NSW Government’s trial ethics classes enter their second week, we are starting to receive detailed reports of plummeting SRE (Scripture) enrolments. Two schools in particular stand out.
The latest figures at Baulkham Hills North and Hurstville Public School show Protestant SRE enrolments in those schools have dropped by 57 and 60 per cent respectively. We understand there has been a similar drop in Catholic SRE enrolments.
It is clear now more than ever that these ethics classes represent a serious threat to SRE. As long as ethics is offered at the same time as SRE, it will be a competitor, not a complement.
Bible literacy is essential to understanding and interpreting Australian society. This point was made brilliantly yesterday by the Centre for Public Christianity’s, Greg Clarke. Writing in ‘The Punch’, Mr Clarke said the Bible was “a central text for understanding,” Western culture. You can read the rest of Greg Clarke’s article here.
The Sydney Morning Herald has also reported that the State Government intervened at the last minute to modify the ethics syllabus. Hypothetical scenarios involving designer babies and an imagined terrorist hijacking were removed from the course that is being taught to year 5 and 6 students.
With SRE enrolments falling because of the NSW Government’s trial ethics classes, Christians need to speak up. Please visit our ‘Save our Scripture’ campaign at
today to email your State MP and let them know you support SRE in NSW schools. ACL has also prepared an information pack for pastors and SRE coordinators. You can request a copy of the Action Pack by emailing
Greens move to legalise sale of X18+ porn in NSW
· June 18, 2010 10:00 AM
David Hutt, 29 April 2010
The NSW Greens have given notice that they will be moving to lift the ban on selling X18+ pornography in NSW. Greens MLC and Federal Senate candidate for NSW, Lee Rhiannon (pictured) has flagged her intention to push to have the ban lifted when Parliament sits next month.
ACL is strongly opposed to any attempt to lift the current ban. ACL today cautioned against lifting the ban and said the Little Children Are Sacred report into child abuse in the Northern Territory demonstrated why the ban was needed.
NSW doesn’t need this destructive material. We have already seen the sort of devastation hardcore porn has wrought on communities in the Northern Territory. Its ability to destroy children’s lives was one of the key reasons for the Australian Government’s intervention in the Northern Territory.
When launching the Intervention, the previous Federal Government reasoned that, “The Little Children are Sacred report revealed that the availability of pornography in Indigenous communities is a factor that contributes to child sexual abuse in those communities, being used to groom children for sex, and normalising inappropriate sexualised and violent behaviour in children”.
The report into child abuse in the Northern Territory demonstrated a clear link between the availability of hardcore pornography and child abuse. It is discriminatory to suggest that the children and families of NSW are somehow immune from the consequences of easily-available porn.
NSW Attorney-General, John Hatzistergos recently told Parliament that any move to lift the ban contravened the NSW Greens’ policy on women. “I have read the Greens policy on women, which is clearly against pornography that ‘discriminates against women by presenting them as suitable objects for violent or sexual exploitation’.” Mr Hatzistergos suggested that Ms Rhiannon should reacquaint herself with the NSW Greens’ policy on women.
Mr Hatzistergos said selling hardcore pornography in NSW was illegal because “the community and their representatives want to minimise the opportunity for it to be distributed in this State.”
NSW scraps ‘artistic merit’ defence for child porn
· June 18, 2010 10:00 AM
29 April 2010
In a welcome development in the battle to protect children from sexual exploitation, the NSW Parliament last week passed reforms to child pornography laws which scrap the defence of "artistic merit".
NSW Attorney-General John Hatzistergos (pictured) told the media that the move would help authorities better distinguish child pornography from art. Rather than relying on the defence of artistic purpose, as has previously been the case, artists who create images of naked children will now have to pay for a Commonwealth classification to ensure against prosecution. Please click here for details.
In July 2008, following on from the controversy over the Bill Henson and Art Monthly Australia photos, ACL called for the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) to close “artistic merit” loopholes and also to consider what wider action can be taken to protect children against exploitation by the art world.
The action taken by the NSW Government is a big step forward which we would like to see followed by the other States.
Canadian journalist confronts Australia’s ‘happy hooker’ myth
· June 18, 2010 10:00 AM
Canadian television journalist Victor Malarek has asked the questions about Australia’s sex trade our own journalists and politicians have failed to ask.
Speaking at a forum in Parliament House in Canberra this week, Malarek ridiculed the idea of legalising brothels saying prostitution is the most dangerous ‘profession’ on the planet.
Politicians who had bought the ‘happy hooker’ lie that it could be safe and dignified were misguided, he said, in a message that he has also taken to forums and meetings with MPs in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia over the past week.
“We seem to think in our minds that men have the right to a young woman's body because they have money in their pocket.”
“What 18 year old dreams of giving up part of their income to their loving pimp?” he asks rhetorically.
Malarek admits to being swayed by the legalisation arguments when he first started investigating the global sex trade but the more he dug, the more he realised this was folly.
If prostitution was safe, why then do sex trade lobby groups like Australia’s Scarlet Alliance recommend a panic button for prostitutes, he asks.
The multi-award winning senior reporter for Canada’s influential CTV W-FIVE program has done what most Australian journalists and politicians have failed to do and that is question the claims of the legal brothel lobby.
His latest book, The Johns – Sex for Sale and the Men who Buy it, contains a chapter on the legalisation of brothels in which Australia’s failed experiments in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria feature heavily.
Entitled A Gift to the Johns, this chapter is scathing about the Scarlet Alliance which was influential in convincing Australian politicians to accept the legalisation of brothels.
Malarek says Sweden has the best prostitution laws where the law comes down hard on men who purchase sex, rather than on prostituted women.
Swedish police, he said, had eaves dropped on traffickers in young women and had heard them saying it was no longer any use trying to do business in Sweden.
Malarek was also scathing on the pornography industry describing porn as “an inducer sending men in to the night”.
On this Sunday night’s
Open House program
(from 8 pm on most major Christian radio stations), investigative journalist Malarek lifts the lid on the $20-billion-a-year sex trade, and proposes a radical way of bringing change (interview time around 9.20 pm Eastern Standard Time).
ACL's Glynis Quinlin interviews Victor Malarek
ACL questions NSW Greens’ commitment to freedom of religion
· June 10, 2010 10:00 AM
The Sydney Morning Herald this week
that over 35,000 Catholics have signed the ACL’s Save Our Scripture petition.
The response from Christians across all denominations had been overwhelming and particularly thanked the Australian Christian Churches, Catholics and Presbyterians for their support.
ACL would especially like to thank the thousands of supporters who encouraged their friends, family and churches to sign the petition.
In related news ACL today questioned the NSW Greens’ commitment to religious freedom following an extraordinary attack on Church leaders in parliament last night by Greens MLC, John Kaye.
During a speech on the NSW Government’s trial ethics classes, Mr Kaye launched a blistering attack on the Christian Church, the Jewish Board of Deputies and the Islamic Council. He accused them of running an “oligopoly” and singled out the Christian Church, accusing it of “[branch] stacking, lying and selfishness.”
His comments came after media reports the Anglican Church was encouraging Christians to participate in local P&C debates about the trial ethics classes. He accused the Anglican Church’s Youthworks department of having “taken a leaf out of the worst behaved Labor Party branch stackers.”
John Kaye’s comments are extraordinary and really call into question the NSW Greens' commitment to freedom of religion in this state.
People of religious faith have every right to participate in community forums and the NSW Greens should in no way at all be discouraging this.
ACL will be writing to John Kaye asking him to explain his extraordinary outburst and to clarify the NSW Greens' position on religious freedom. The full text of Dr Kaye’s speech can be found by clicking
and scrolling down to the adjournment debate on page 96.
‘Big Rescue’ campaign to provide Bibles for NSW Scripture classes
· June 03, 2010 10:00 AM
At a time when many Christians are watching with concern the trial of non-religious ethics classes as an alternative to Scripture in 10 NSW primary schools, the Bible Society has identified a hunger for Bibles in NSW Scripture classes which it is urging people to support.
"Children are hungry to read the Bible, and if we miss this great opportunity, this intrinsic God-given need is going to be filled by secular things, not God's Word," Patricia Thornton of Dubbo told the Bible Society.
“I bring my daughter's Bible to my class and leave it with them - 23 children have to share it to have a book," Rev Karen Jansson from Stockton commented to them.
Earlier this year the Bible Society sent out a notice to public school Scripture teachers in NSW and ACT, inviting requests for Bibles. Anticipating a need for about 10,000 Bibles, the society was instead inundated with requests for 70,000.
Now the Bible Society, the organisation that’s behind ‘Jesus. All About Life’, has launched an urgent fund-raising campaign called “The Big Rescue” aimed at raising funds to provide those 70,000 Bibles.
Come August 8th, a flood of familiar red ‘Jesus. All About Life’ T-shirts will hit the streets in City2Surf 2010 to draw attention to the need for Bibles and Christians are being encouraged to become “a runner and/or rescuer”.
Those who are able to raise funds and run can register – individually or as a team – at Bible Society’s fundraising website:
. Those who are unable to run can still be a rescuer, by sponsoring the runners at the same website. For more details please click
Also, a reminder that the deadline for Save our Scripture petitions to be returned has been extended until next Tuesday, June 8. To download a copy of the Save Our Scripture petition, click
Unborn a step closer to ‘person’ status
· May 27, 2010 10:00 AM
Unborn children are a step closer to being recognised in law.
The NSW Government this week announced it had appointed retired Supreme Court Justice Michael Campbell to conduct a review of laws surrounding criminal actions which result in the death of an unborn child.
The review, to be completed later this year, was sparked by the tragic story of baby ‘Zoe’ who died at seven months gestation after her mother Brodie Donegan was hit on the footpath by an allegedly drug-affected driver on the Central Coast on Christmas Day. However NSW laws did not allow for the driver to be charged with manslaughter. Please click
for more details.
“Not charging for Zoe's death negates her life. There has to be a specific law that recognises the viability of life and protects an unborn child and the wording of that law has to include manslaughter. And it should apply on a national level," Ms Donegan told the
ACL agrees with Ms Donegan and welcomes NSW Attorney General John Hatzistergos’ (pictured) action in launching the law review.
Sadly, however, the Victorian Government has failed to respond to a similar call for Victorian laws to be reviewed.
In Victoria, Nancy Asani has waged a 10-year campaign to have State law recognise the lives of unborn car crash victims following the death of her own unborn daughter at 37 weeks gestation when another driver crashed into her car in December 1999. The driver was not even charged with her daughter’s death, only with causing injury to Ms Asani. Click
for more details.
To date Nancy Asani’s campaign has hit a brick wall with the Victorian Government – perhaps not surprising when you consider the way the Government ignored deep public concern in 2008 to push through law changes making abortion easily accessible in Victoria right up until an unborn child is full-term.
However Ms Asani is continuing her campaign and has set up a petition which says: “I Nancy Asani call upon the Attorney General's Office to change the law of unborn babies that are victims of road deaths in the State of Victoria. Victorian law does not recognise a foetus as a child until it has taken its first breath. Something must be done.” Please join in this important campaign by clicking
and signing the petition.
Lack of integrity in public office holders a legitimate public concern
· May 26, 2010 10:00 AM
ACL has entered the public debate over NSW Transport Minister
David Campbell’s resignation
, saying that a lack of integrity and loyalty in public office holders is very much a legitimate matter for public concern.
“The case of NSW Transport Minister David Campbell’s apparent cheating on his wife and family by visiting a gay sex club is not something to be swept under the carpet,” ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said in a media release issued last Friday.
“Public office holders – but particularly those calling for popular support through elections - must uphold a higher standard of honesty and integrity.” Please click
to read the media release.
NSW Govt urged to clarify conflicting comments about school Scripture
· April 14, 2010 10:00 AM
For release: April 14, 2010
The Australian Christian Lobby today called on the NSW Government to urgently clarify conflicting comments from the St James Ethics Centre as to whether ethics class will be offered in competition with Scripture in schools.
A February 8 letter from the Centre's Teresa Russell to parents and carers of year five and six students at a school participating in the NSW Government's up-coming ethics class trial contradicts comments made by the Centre's head, Dr Simon Longstaff, in the media this week.
Despite claims from Dr Longstaff that it was 'misleading' to suggest the new ethics classes would weaken Scripture classes, Ms Russell's letter states: “We now invite participation from Years 5 and 6 students, regardless of whether they currently 'opt out' of Scripture/SRE or not”. (Please see the letter attached).
However, Dr Longstaff told the ABC's PM program last night that the proposed new ethics class "should only be for people who have opted out of scripture".
Furthermore, the letter contradicts Dr Longstaff's comments on The National Times blog this week that “the pool of potential participants will be limited to those who would otherwise be spending time 'twiddling their thumbs'.” (http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/you-cant-teach-ethics-without-referring-to-christianity-20100409-rxai.html?comments=210#comments)
Mr Longstaff told today's Sydney Morning Herald that it was misleading to suggest that there was any desire or intention to weaken religion classes. (http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/bishop-enters-battle-against-secular-ethics-classes-20100413-s7pp.html)
ACL's NSW Director David Hutt said the NSW Government needed to clarify the conflicting statements coming from the St James Ethics centre so parents could be assured that the Government's intent is not to weaken Scripture classes.
“If the Government sees a need for additional ethical content in the curriculum we would welcome that however this syllabus should be available to all students as part of General Religious Education (GRE) and not create the false dichotomy that there might be a choice between Scripture and ethics,” Mr Hutt said.
Media Contact: Lyle Shelton 0448 602 878.
ACL submission to NSW inquiry into same sex adoption
· February 13, 2009 11:00 AM
to read ACL’s submission to the New South Wales Legislative Council Standing Committee on Law and Justice Inquiry into adoption by same sex couples.
to read answers to questions taken on notice at public hearings.
to read the 2006 submission to the New South Wales Department of Community Services Review of the
Adoption Act 2000
Sign in with Facebook
Sign in with Twitter
Sign in with Email
Optional email code
Get instant access to news about political issues facing christians