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Pages tagged "Labor"
MR: Bi-partisan consensus on marriage threatened by ALP Left’s conference motion
· May 30, 2011 10:00 AM
For release: May 30, 2011
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today urged the Australian Labor Party (ALP) not to water-down its support for marriage at its National Conference in December.
The ACL’s Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton was responding to news that the ALP’s left faction has resolved to push to allow MPs’ a conscience vote on the issue of marriage when this is debated at the December conference.
“Any change to the ALP’s strong support for marriage between a man and a woman would give a lever to the Greens’ agenda to radically re-shape Australia’s social policy.
“Many mainstream Australians would be disappointed if Australian politics’ bi-partisan consensus on marriage was fractured.
“Conscience votes are usually reserved for life matters but marriage has always been a settled area of public policy across the political spectrum and there is no reason for it to be given a conscience vote.
“The Greens’ Party has made it clear it wants to change the current meaning of marriage and will use a conscience vote to its advantage to continually bring the issue up in the Parliament,” he said.
Mr Shelton said Labor
at the last election to “maintaining the definition of marriage as currently set out in the Marriage Act as between a man and a woman”
“There is an expectation in the Christian constituency that Labor will continue to honour this commitment,” Mr Shelton said.
Katherine Spackman on 0408 875 979
ACL welcomes Gillard’s commitment to mainstream values on marriage, euthanasia and the Bible
· March 20, 2011 11:00 AM
For release: March 20, 2011
Julia Gillard’s re-statement of her mainstream values on marriage today and her recognition that the Bible is worth studying because it underpins much of western literature is welcome in the face of Greens’ pressure to redefine marriage.
Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Jim Wallace said that: “Those within Labor pushing it to follow the Greens’ line on same-sex marriage at December’s party conference risked causing the Party being defined in the minds of many ordinary Australians with the extremes of politics, which the PM rightly rejects.
“Australians expect both sides of politics to honour their election commitments on marriage and not have them stolen by the Greens, especially through their latest push to advance their agenda through the back door under the ruse of ‘territory rights’.
“Ms Gillard was right to
re-state her view that Greens Leader Bob Brown is a ‘calculating politician’
“While the Prime Minister acknowledges she is not a believer, her comments supporting traditional values and the place of the Bible in shaping so much that is good about modern Australian society is also welcome in the face of pressure to downplay and redefine our cultural heritage,” Mr Wallace said.
Her comments on euthanasia, another priority of the Greens, were also welcome.
“The Prime Minister rightly acknowledges the compassion all of us feel for sufferers of terminal illness but as every state inquiry into euthanasia in the last four years has shown, she acknowledges it is simply impossible to design safeguards that can be guaranteed to protect the vulnerable ,” Mr Wallace said.
Media Contact: Katherine Spackman on 0408 875 979.
ACL welcomes major parties’ commitment to marriage
· November 18, 2010 11:00 AM
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today welcomed Prime Minister
Julia Gillard’s refusal to guarantee
she would legalise gay marriage even if the ALP National Conference changes its policy on this issue.
ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said this position is consistent with the
clear pre-election commitment
Ms Gillard gave to the Christian constituency that the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman would not be changed during the term of a re-elected Gillard Government.
“This clear commitment was given for the full term of Government – not just up until the ALP national conference. And the importance of not allowing this to change at the next Conference was acknowledged by Ms Gillard. It is a pledge of great importance to the Christian constituency and will be closely monitored to see whether Labor, under Julia Gillard, fulfils its commitment,” Mr Wallace said.
Mr Wallace also congratulated the Opposition for today voting against Greens’ MP Adam Bandt’s motion for MPs to seek constituents’ views on same-sex marriage.
“Since the PM pointed out to the Christian constituency that people could draw a lot of confidence in the security of marriage because both parties agreed on it, the unequivocal position of the Coalition is very welcome,” Mr Wallace said.
“This motion was obviously a meaningless stunt and it was good to see the Opposition not bowing to the Greens’ push to keep this issue in the limelight.”
Mr Wallace said that the Greens are following a deceptive agenda in pushing gay marriage as a discrimination issue.
“ACL has in the past supported out of a concern for justice, Government moves to amend more than 100 pieces of legislation to remove practical discrimination from same-sex couples. This issue of discrimination has effectively been dealt with,” Mr Wallace said. “To try and link gay marriage with discrimination is just another example of the deceptive way in which Greens’ agendas are progressed.
“This issue is not about discrimination, it is about protecting the model of marriage between a man and a woman - a model which remains a universal cultural mainstay proven over millennia. And for all the nonsense coming out of the Greens, it is too important to be treated as just another trophy for this two percent of the population and its selfishly intolerant activists.”
PM restates commitment to marriage
· October 28, 2010 11:00 AM
ACL has welcomed Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s restatement of her party’s commitment to marriage being between a man and a woman following a
from Labor’s left faction for a policy shift in support of gay marriage.
Earlier this week, Ms Gillard rejected calls to allow a conscience vote on gay marriage, saying that the party had considered the issue at its last national conference.
''We came up with the answer … The party's policies and platform are that the Marriage Act should stay in its current form with marriage being between a man and a woman,'' she told the
It is pleasing to see the Prime Minister sticking with her pre-election commitments to the Christian constituency on this issue rather than giving into the well-publicised Greens’ agenda to permit same-sex marriage.
On the issue of the push for gay marriage, an article posted on the Australian Conservative website this week takes an interesting look at the reasons behind the gay establishment’s push for gay marriage and the consequences of promoting “genderlessness”. Click
to read the article, which features an interview with author, columnist and President of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, Maggie Gallagher.
Victorian Government sells out on children’s rights for gay vote
· October 25, 2010 11:00 AM
The Victorian Government is planning to sell out the best interests of children as part of a
package of measures
to win the gay vote, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) said today.
ACL Victorian Director Rob Ward said Victorian Labor’s blatant attempt to chase the gay vote by proposing to give them same-sex adoption and a package of other inducements makes a mockery of any claims that changes to adoption laws would only be made if they are better for children.
“The best interests of children are meant to be paramount in adoption laws but here we have the Government indicating it is willing to look at changing these laws solely to appease gay voters,” Mr Ward said.
“With large numbers of heterosexual couples waiting years to adopt a child it is difficult to understand how placing an adopted child in a home where they will be denied the benefit of having both a mother and a father could ever be construed as putting a child’s best interests first.”
Mr Ward said Victorian Labor should be looking to govern for all Victorians and it is alarming to see the party cynically chasing the gay vote, perhaps as a way to counter-act the increased popularity of The Greens.
“It is also a major concern that the Government may be looking to withhold funding from faith-based community welfare organisations which, for instance, might prefer not to employ people whose lifestyle choices might not accord with their religious beliefs,” Mr Ward said. “Rather than genuinely partnering with these organisations – which play such a significant role in Victoria – the Government appears to be trying to impose its own ‘diversity’ regime on them by using funding as the lever.”
Mr Ward said there is also concern that the Government is proposing to give special rights to gay lobby groups to influence government policies, even though they represent only around two per cent of the population.
“One has to question why the Government would discriminate against other lobby groups by choosing to give $400,000 to an already articulate and well-financed gay lobby. In terms of buying votes this is taking pork-barrelling to a new low.”
In terms of the $100,000 over four years to be committed to addressing homophobic harassment, Mr Ward said: “All violence is wrong but I am unaware of any evidence of an epidemic of homophobic violence in Victoria. If such a thing is taking place than a mere $25,000 each year to address it is tokenistic.”
Mr Ward urged the Victorian Government to consider the interests of all Victorians – and particularly children – in the lead-up to the election and to resist pressure to try to outbid The Greens in efforts to secure the small gay vote.
Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan 0408 875 979
Foreign aid finally gains attention in election campaign
· August 17, 2010 10:00 AM
In a federal election campaign which has been often sadly lacking in matters of substance, the issue of foreign aid has at last struggled its way to the fore in the past week, with the Federal Coalition announcing that, if elected, it will create a Minister for International Development – upgrading the status of a policy area which is currently looked after by a parliamentary secretary – and elevate AusAID to an independent government department. Click
for more details.
It is interesting to see the Coalition taking the initiative in foreign aid when traditionally it has been Labor which has tended to take the stronger position – such as being the first of the two major parties to commit to an aid target of 0.5% of Gross National Income (GNI). No doubt the strong lobbying efforts of organisations such as Micah Challenge Australia and World Vision Australia are paying off.
The Coalition’s announcement has been welcomed by aid agencies including the
Make Poverty History coalition
World Vision Australia
which has urged the ALP to match the commitment.
“Elevating the International Development portfolio would bring a more direct line of accountability through parliament and build public confidence that aid and development money is being spent effectively,” World Vision’s Chief Executive Tim Costello said.
“Australia lags behind other countries that have already elevated development efforts to the same level as diplomacy and defence. This ensures Australia reaps the benefits of its efforts to foster stability and economic development in our region.”
World Vision has also welcomed a renewed focus on global policy issues with the Labor Party, the Liberal Party and the Australian Greens all releasing statements on international development today. The Greens have supported the Coalition’s proposal for a Minister for International Development, while Labor has committed to additional investment and increased focus on preventing child deaths and improving maternal mortality rates. Click
for more details.
Both Labor and the Coalition are committed to increasing foreign aid spending to 0.5 per cent of GNI by 2015 but this is still well short of the Millennium Development Goals of committing 0.7% of GNI.
In our questions to all the political parties, the ACL asked
“Will your Party confirm the current Government commitment to contribute 0.5% Gross National Income to international aid and development efforts by 2015? What timeline will it put in place to reach the internationally agreed target of 0.7% GNI?”
to read all the party responses.
Jim Wallace daily election blog – Sun Aug 15
· August 15, 2010 10:00 AM
By Jim Wallace, ACL Managing Director
The acknowledgement by Julia Gillard that the general
dissatisfaction with State Labor governments is hurting Federal Labor
should send a strong message to all parties that they cannot afford to confuse their brand name.
While state party organisations are usually very autonomous, it is inevitable that voters will not make this distinction and perhaps even important that parties are made to show more consistency across the jurisdictions.
Certainly Christians in Victoria and Qld have seen state Labor governments introduce, propose or test a number of legislative initiatives that have offended them. The list between just these two states ranges over even late term abortion, surrogacy for two men or even a single man, and threats to the right of churches and church bodies to discriminate on employment.
In NSW we are now facing a state Labor Government in its death throes looking to legalise homosexual adoption, and remove the long established status of scripture in schools, by introducing competing programmes.
Wherever they have been present, the Greens have invariably played a key role in the championing of this type of legislation – a role very important to take into consideration given the consequences for many Christian moral concerns should they hold the balance of power in the Senate.
But the Coalition does not have a clean slate either, with the WA Barnett government, dragging its heels on what was a clear election promise to fully investigate the Swedish model for controlling prostitution – a system which criminalises the purchasers of sex, rather than its real victims, the sex workers.
Brand name is important, we shouldn’t excuse state / federal inconsistencies too easily, but instead demand of all parties that they set a national standard on the highest party performance in terms of policies, values and conduct.
In further confirmation of their anti-marriage agenda, the Greens have this weekend announced that they will be
seeking to force a conscience vote on gay marriage
within the first year of the new parliament – one of the 18 issues they failed to be honest with Christian electors with on our
While some Christians may place other issues higher in their reckoning, this, together with the history of the Greens legislative agenda in state parliaments mentioned above, should have us all looking at the alternatives in the Senate. There is a broad field including the major parties, Family First and the CDP – a good reason to start studying if you haven’t already, the parties’ responses to our
on this site.
Over the last days of this campaign I will draw your attention to some of the policy differences between the parties and also comment more on the all important race for the Senate.
ACL welcomes tougher stance against people smugglers
· July 08, 2010 10:00 AM
The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s announcement this week that asylum seekers would be processed off shore as a disincentive to people smugglers, but notes there are many details still to be worked through.
While ACL had concerns with aspects of the former Howard Government’s policies towards asylum seekers, ACL did support off shore processing for the same reason it welcomes the Gillard Government’s announcement yesterday, ACL Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton said.
“ACL also welcomes the Opposition’s proposal to increase the opportunities for refugees applying for refugee status offshore,” Mr Shelton said.
“Genuine refugees languishing in refugee camps should not be disadvantaged because they cannot afford to pay a people smuggler.
“The nomination of refugees to Australia should not be by criminals in Indonesia and there should be no financial reward for these people.
“Too many people have died through this trade in lives on leaky boats,” Mr Shelton said.
Australia’s policy towards asylum seekers must strike a balance between compassion an orderly humanitarian program for refugees.
Any off shore processing of asylum seekers must be humane and expeditious so that genuine refugees are re-settled in to Australia quickly and that those who are not found to have a genuine claim are returned home quickly.
“We expect that those who are processed off shore to be processed as quickly as possible and that women and minors particularly be detained for as little a time as possible.” Mr Shelton said.
ACL also welcomed the Opposition’s proposal to enable church and other groups within Australia to directly sponsor refugees over and above the official program.
“Allowing church and community groups to extend generosity in this way will make a real difference to many lives,” Mr Shelton said.
WA Government has not done its homework on dangerous brothel trade
· June 21, 2010 10:00 AM
June 21, 2010
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) is not satisfied the Barnett Government has met its election commitment to properly investigate the Swedish model of prostitution regulation, ACL WA Director Michelle Pearse said today.
With the Attorney General Christian Porter announcing today that brothels would be legalised in industrial and commercial areas, Mrs Pearse said Mr Porter must explain how State-sanctioned brothels could meet the most basic workplace health and safety standards.
“How would he protect young women from being recruited into the most dangerous profession on the planet?” Mrs Pease said. “WA is about to follow the failed experiments by Labor Governments in Queensland, the ACT and Victoria where legalised brothels have led to a massive expansion of the harmful sex trade in both its legal and illegal forms.”
Mrs Pearse said that recently an under-age girl died in a legal brothel in the ACT which underscored the implausibility of making work in brothels safe. “ACL opposes legalising brothels because of the dangers to young women and believes the law should target the demand side of the sex trade which is the men who use prostituted women,” she said.
Mrs Pearse said that a report by the US Bureau of Public Affairs cited a study into the trauma prostituted women face and revealed that 60-75% of women in prostitution were raped, 70-95% were physically assaulted and 68% had post traumatic stress disorder in the same range as ‘treatment seeking combat veterans’. “Why would the WA Government sanction an industry where this occurs?”
The Federal Government has just launched a marketing campaign aimed at reducing violence in relationships. Mrs Pearse is asking the WA Government: “If Australia says ‘No’ to violence against women than why would the Government seek to sanction brothels where women are raped and assaulted? If the WA Government was truly seeking the best interests of the community, than they would not allow prostitution to occur in any area.”
At a public meeting arranged by federal member for Swan, Steve Irons, the Attorney General stated that he believed prostitution was ‘morally objectionable’. Mrs Pearse is questioning the rationale of the government in legalising an industry that is ‘morally objectionable’. “The reason that prostitution is morally objectionable is because it is an injustice to the women involved, and it is an injustice to the wives and families of the men who use prostituted women.”
Instead of legalising the industry, ACL is calling on the government to shut down all brothels and implement a law similar to Sweden’s, which penalises the buyer rather than the women who are exploited in the industry.
ACL holds Labor to R18+ games election promise
· April 16, 2010 10:00 AM
Friday April 16, 2010
The Australian Christian Lobby has written to South Australian Premier Mike Rann over concerns his Government may be on the verge of breaking its first election commitment.
ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace has told Mr Rann he is concerned by media reports that new Attorney General John Rau may be about to drop the SA Government’s opposition to allowing violent interactive computer games in to Australia.
In response to a pre-election questionnaire sent to all Parties, SA State Secretary Michael Brown, responded on behalf of Labor saying: “The State Government has consistently opposed calls to introduce an R18+ classification for computer games due to the potential the harm that violent computer games can have on children.”
In his letter to Mr Brown, Mr Wallace says: “Any reasonable and fair-minded person is entitled to accept this response as meaning that the ALP, if re-elected, would continue its consistent opposition to the call to introduce an R18+ classification.”
However, Mr Rau has told the media “the response was given before the election and before he took over” and that he “has not yet made a decision on the issue”.
“The whole point of a pre-election questionnaire was to get a response before the election,” Mr Wallace said.
“If Labor was planning to change its policy, its response to our questionnaire was its opportunity.
“Instead it gave a response that could only lead fair-minded people to conclude that Labor was concerned by the impact of these games on children and that its opposition to lifting the ban would be maintained after the election.
“Any change would fuel the fire of public cynicism about politicians and their promises and this is not in the interests of a new Government or the people who elected it.
“We certainly hope this is some sort of mistake by Mr Rau and that the Government will urgently confirm its pre-election commitment,” Mr Wallace said.
The full question and full answer were posted on www.savotes.org and publicised widely to the Christian constituency before the election.
Media Contact – Lyle Shelton 0448 602 878
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