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Pages tagged "media release"
MR: ACL Disappointed parliament set to repeal poker-machine reforms
· December 11, 2013 11:00 AM
For release: Wednesday December 11, 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed disappointment that federal parliament looks set to repeal the Gillard Government’s modest poker-machine reforms.
ACL’s Managing Director Lyle Shelton said legislation introduced by the Coalition last week to repeal the 2012 legislation looks set to be supported by Labor in the senate.
“We can’t ignore the harm of poker-machines and the fact that there are 95,000 problem gamblers addicted to poker machines. Leadership is needed from both sides of politics,” he said.
“The reforms introduced by the Gillard Government were modest and a step in the right direction,” Mr Shelton said.
“The reforms included a trial to be conducted in the ACT of mandatory pre-commitment technology before the switch could be flicked on machines at a later date. ATM’s at gaming venues were to be limited to $250 limits and a national gambling regulator was to be established,” he said.
Mr Shelton said it was unclear how the Coalition would tackle the problem gambling issue with the power of the clubs lobby and state government addiction to gambling revenue.
“Social services minister Kevin Andrews has foreshadowed reforms in the future that would include more counselling for problem gamblers. This is welcome but it is widely accepted that tougher measures to limit losses such as mandatory pre-commitment or limiting machines to $1 bets are what is needed to help addicts,” he said.
“There is enormous impact on the community from problem gambling. Problem gambling can ruin families, harm children, cause gamblers to lose their jobs and homes and can affect their health,” he said.
MR: ACL welcomes Vic Liberal State Council decision supporting doctors’ conscience
· December 01, 2013 11:00 AM
For release: Monday, December 2, 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed the motion passed by the Victorian Liberal State Council supporting an amendment to abortion laws to allow doctors’ conscience.
Yesterday’s motion to support the amendment of Section 8 of the Abortion Law Reform Act to allow a health practitioner not to have to refer for abortions follows recent petitions seeking this amendment.
Petitions were tabled in the Legislative Assembly last week by a National, a Liberal and two Labor MPs’ with a total of 4,314 signatures. Furthermore an online
petition, seeking this same reform, has over 3,300 signatures.
ACL’s Victorian Director Dan Flynn said the Liberal State Council motion is good policy that recognises freedom of conscience.
“The current effect of the referral element of Section 8 is to shut down conversations between the doctor and the patient that explore other options apart from abortion,” he said.
“This is evidenced by the plight of Dr. Mark Hobart who is currently under investigation by the Medical Board for failing to refer a woman for abortion in response to a request to abort a 19 week old unborn girl because she was a girl instead of a boy.
“The importance of conscience is not confined to abortion. In a healthy society, medical practitioners must be free to take into account matters of conscience in providing holistic patient care across the full range of medical services,” he said.
Mr Flynn said that the proposed amendment would not affect access to abortion in the state.
“Currently a woman doesn’t need a referral from a GP, unlike many other medical procedures, to access abortion in Victoria. This proposed amendment seeks to remove the requirement that health practitioners with a conscientious objection must refer a patient to someone they know does not have such an objection," he said.
“The Australian Christian Lobby urges politicians of all persuasions to make this sensible amendment so that Victorian medical practitioners are no longer forced to act against their consciences,” Mr Flynn said.
MR: Defeat of same-sex marriage motion in Tas signals time to move on
· October 29, 2013 11:00 AM
For release: Tuesday 29th October 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has welcomed the defeat of a same-sex marriage motion in the Tasmanian Upper House this evening.
ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown says today’s decision by Legislative Council Members (MLCs) not to reconsider proposed same-sex marriage laws should send a clear message that it’s time to move on from this tiresome debate.
“This legislation was defeated in the parliament only last year. This debate has become wearisome. It is a low order priority for the majority of Australians and it is time to move on. There is no discrimination in Tasmanian law against same-sex couples – there is no need to redefine marriage.
“In the past 12 months same-sex marriage bills have been defeated in the federal House of Representatives, the Senate, the Tasmanian Parliament, and the South Australian Parliament. This was just another attempt to pass legislation by fatigue.
“Australia should have one law for marriage and it should be determined by the Federal Parliament. We only need look at recent events in the ACT to know that Tasmanian same-sex legislation would likely be challenged in the High Court if it were passed.
“It is not in Australia’s best interests to have a hodgepodge of marriage laws,” he said.
Mr Brown also said the failure of today’s motion was a win for families and the rights of children.
“Marriage between a man and a woman provides a natural, timeless and sustainable foundation for our society. It serves as the best, most stable environment where society can nurture and protect its next generation.
“Every child owes their existence to a mum and a dad and same-sex marriage would deny children the right to know their biological heritage,” he said.
MR: Pressure grows for ACT ‘marriage’ bill to go to committee
· October 21, 2013 11:00 AM
For release: Monday 21st October 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby renewed its call today for the ACT’s Marriage Equality Bill to be referred to a standing committee of the Assembly for greater scrutiny.
“Revelations this morning that even advocates of changing the definition of marriage have also identified serious legal problems with the bill mean it should not be rushed through tomorrow as planned,” ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said.
released legal advice
from lawyers Neville Rochow SC and Chris Brohier on Friday also detailing major concerns with the working of the bill.
“This bill has major consequences for people of conscience who will always believe and wish to teach their children something that will become contrary to ACT law,” Mr Shelton said.
“The legal confusion this bill creates for same-sex couples and people of conscience alike means this bill should not be rushed and it should be referred to a standing committee of the ACT Legislative Assembly,” Mr Shelton said.
MR: Shocking scenes as 50 radicals try to disrupt March for the Babies
· October 13, 2013 11:00 AM
For release: Sunday 13th October 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed concern at the anger and vitriol directed at pro-life supporters during yesterday’s annual March for the Babies in Melbourne.
More than 3,000 people participating in the peaceful march were confronted by around 50 radicals who yelled and screamed abuse. The shocking abuse of pro-life supporters was captured by
According to media reports, several of those hurling abuse were members of the Socialist Alliance and one was filmed wearing a T-Shirt advertising the Australian Sex Party.
ACL’s Victorian Director Dan Flynn, who is also Deputy Chair of March for the Babies, said today that such abuse was unacceptable in a society which respects freedom of speech.
"Every group has the right to lawful assembly and free speech, but no group has a right to violently attack such a lawful assembly with abuse and violence.
“I can only surmise that the motive of these 50 people is to manufacture a violent scene to dissuade people from attending the March for the Babies in the future.”
Mr Flynn said he respected the view of the pro-abortion protestors but said the cause of protecting unborn babies and reforming Victoria's abortion laws should be allowed to be debated in a civil manner.
March for the Babies occurs each year to peacefully campaign for human rights protections for the unborn, which were completely removed by the passing of a 2008 abortion bill in the Victorian Parliament.
MR: Legal advice shows ACT 9 have overstepped the mark
· October 05, 2013 10:00 AM
For release: Saturday 5th October 2013
Advice from the commonwealth Solicitor-General that the nine people in the ACT Legislative Assembly trying to redefine marriage for the nation have overstepped the mark should bring the debate to an end.
Australian Christian Lobby managing director Lyle Shelton said if
a report in today’s Weekend Australian
of legal advice to the Abbott Government is correct, then it was time to move on.
“This issue has had more than a fair go. There have been multiple Parliamentary inquiries and unsuccessful votes in federal and state Parliaments. An election was fought in part on Kevin Rudd’s pledge to legislate within 100 days,” Mr Shelton said.
“Labor’s worst primary vote in 100 years and the loss of 600,000 votes to the party of same-sex marriage, the Greens, demonstrates that voters are underwhelmed by this issue.
“Discrimination against same-sex couples in Australian law has long been removed and that is supported by the Australian people including Christian groups like ACL. There is no need to open up vulnerabilities to freedom of speech, freedom of belief and social justice for children by changing the definition of marriage.”
Mr Shelton urged the Government and the Parliament as a whole to take whatever action was necessary to protect the Commonwealth’s constitutional jurisdiction over marriage.
“I think the Australian people are becoming tired of the same-sex marriage lobbyists’ attempts to bring about legislation by fatigue. If they wish to persist with their campaign, they should put it to a referendum of the Australian people.
“Because of the consequences for freedom of speech, belief and the rights of children, all Australians should have a say if marriage is to be changed,” Mr Shelton said.
“There are more important issues facing the nation, such as the Government’s proposed cuts to overseas aid of $4.5 billion which was to go to our neighbours in extreme poverty.”
MR: Changing marriage not a priority for Tasmanians – it’s time to move on
· October 04, 2013 10:00 AM
For release: Friday 4th October 2013
Tasmanian MLCs' should reject Independent MLC Ruth Forrest’s latest attempt to legislate a new definition of marriage, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.
“Yet again we are seeing legislation by fatigue. People are sick and tired of this debate and keen to move on,” ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said.
“There is no new information from New South Wales – the legal advice remains the same. It is likely that any attempt to usurp Commonwealth power over marriage will end up being tested in the High Court,” Mr Brown said.
“Tasmania has an economy in dire straits and yet some of our politicians are more interested in a third go at euthanasia, a second go at same-sex marriage and a draconian abortion bill.
“The priorities are all wrong.
“Kevin Rudd just tried to fight a federal election with a promise to legislate same-sex marriage within 100 days and recorded the lowest Labor vote in 100 years.
“The party of same-sex marriage, the Greens, lost 600,000 votes,” Mr Brown said
Polling commissioned by ACL and conducted by JWS Research immediately after the September 7 election found that same-sex marriage was a low order issue with voters.
Just 13 per cent of voters rated it as a top three issue with just four per cent of Coalition voters putting in the top three. A staggering 72 per cent of Greens voters were not energised by same-sex marriage.
“In the past 12 months same-sex marriage bills have been defeated in the federal House of Representatives, the Senate, the Tasmanian Parliament and the South Australian Parliament. Voters on September 7 were underwhelmed by the issue.
“Surely it is time to move on.”
Mr Brown said if Ms Forrest wanted same-sex marriage she should explain why it would then be ok for some children to be removed through Assisted Reproductive Technology from their biological parents.
“This is the real social justice issue of this debate – the right of children to know and be loved wherever possibly by their natural parents. This is denied them through same-sex marriage.
“There is no discrimination against same-sex couples under Tasmanian or Commonwealth law but same-sex marriage will entrench inequality for children.
“It further normalises fatherless and motherless children. How can this be in children's best interest?
“The marriage debate is about redefining an institution which has deep significance for a lot of Australians from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds.”
Mr Brown said some politicians seemed focussed on introducing as much radical social policy as they could before the March 2014 election.
MR: Labor should appeal to the mainstream on marriage
· October 02, 2013 10:00 AM
For release: Wednesday October 2nd 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby said it would be a mistake for the Labor Party to lock its MPs into supporting same-sex marriage when voters are looking to both sides of politics to move on from the issue.
“The elevation of this issue again in the Labor leadership contest is unhelpful if the party wishes to appeal to a broad cross-section of the Australian community,” according to ACL managing director Lyle Shelton.
Mr Shelton said many Christians resonated with the policies of the Labor Party but calls to have a binding vote on same-sex marriage would be a turnoff for many Christians and Labor voters.
“Labor’s 2014 National Conference should really be focussing on how the party can better appeal to the centre on social policy, including how best to promote policy which supports, wherever possible, a mother and father for children,” he said.
“This issue has had a fair go over the past three years. It would be damaging for to Labor continue to tie itself to this agenda.”
Mr Shelton said 84 laws were changed in 2008 that removed discrimination from same-sex couples.
“After two parliamentary inquiries found no discrimination in Australian law against same-sex couples and several votes rejecting changing the definition of marriage, it is time to move on,” he said.
“We’ve just had an election fought in part on this issue and the result was the worst Labor vote in 100 years.
“The party of same-sex marriage, the Greens, lost 600,000 votes in a 3 per cent swing against them,” he said.
Mr Shelton said polling commissioned by ACL and conducted by JWS Research immediately after the September 7 election showed same-sex marriage is a low order issue with voters.
“Just 15 per cent of Labor voters said it was a top three issue influencing their vote while just four per cent of Coalition voters rated it as important,” he said.
“Seventy-two per cent of Greens voters are not energised by the issue.
“It is important that Labor maintains its ability to appeal to a broad range of people in the community,” he said.
Parents alarmed by push to end TV restrictions
· September 18, 2013 10:00 AM
A media release by FamilyVoice Australia last week highlights parents' concerns about a push to end TV restrictions. Below is a copy of the release.
Parents alarmed by push to end TV restrictions
“Angry parents are telling us how strongly they oppose the new push by commercial TV stations to allow adult programs to be broadcast day and night, abolishing current time zones,” FamilyVoice Research Officer Ros Phillips said today.
“SA Attorney-General John Rau has spoken for many when he said
he would be appalled
if his children were exposed to material that displayed violence and blurred the lines with soft-core pornography. He pointed out that it is unrealistic to expect parents to monitor every single program their kids watch on TV, particularly during school holidays.”
Mrs Phillips said a petition begun less than 24 hours ago,
urging Communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull to keep TV clean for kids
, already has 140 signatures and counting.
Ruth Morrison of Launceston said: “I have sons, aged 7 and 4. It would be very unhelpful for our family to have to deal with this change, and unhelpful to the healthy development of my sons.”
Ros Phillips said an increasing number of children are growing up in homes where parents are physically or mentally absent. These parents are unlikely to use parental locks or direct children to ABC channels.
“Free TV is really saying that because children can now watch potentially harmful material on mobile phones and other devices, they should be able to watch it on TV,” Ros Phillips said. “Hello?? We need to provide protection for children on the other outlets as well!”
Ros Phillips said that over the years, Free TV has been steadily watering down the TV Code of Practice. The G time zones after school and daytime on weekends have already been abolished. Content guidelines have been progressively made more vague and less enforceable,” Mrs Phillips said. “The new proposal is yet another backward step.
“It’s hugely worrying because kids as young as 11 are already accessing pornography,” she said. “The
60 per cent rise
in ‘serious incidents of a sexual nature’ in SA schools over the past three years should be a wakeup call.”
, 12 SEPTEMBER 2013
MR: Lack of consultation with churches means ACT same-sex marriage bill should be delayed
· September 17, 2013 10:00 AM
For release: Tuesday 17th September 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby is urging the ACT Government to delay its same-sex marriage bill until consultation with churches occurs.
ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said church leaders he had spoken to had not been consulted by the Government.
“Redefining marriage and enforcing this new definition of marriage by law has significant consequences for freedom of speech and freedom of belief,” Mr Shelton said.
“Many people, not just Christians, watched with great concern Kevin Rudd’s treatment of Brisbane pastor Matt Prater on ABC1’s Q&A.
“There will always be people in our society who for reasons of conscience will always believe that the truth about marriage is that it is between a man and a woman.
“They will want to be free to speak about this and teach it to their children,” Mr Shelton said.
“This bill needs to be delayed until there can be a proper discussion about how this change to the definition of marriage will affect the civil liberties of those who cannot agree with the redefinition of marriage.”
Mr Shelton noted that local same-sex marriage advocates did not agree with churches being exempt from performing same-sex weddings.
Ivette Madrid of Equal Love Canberra told ABC radio on July 29 that her organisation disagreed with protections for religious freedom.
“The churches will be discriminating on the basis of gender and so I don’t think that should be allowed at all. We have human rights legislation and so they are willing to bypass that,” she said.
In the UK, a wealthy same-sex couple is planning to sue the Church of England for not providing them a church wedding. This was despite UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s guarantee of protection for churches.
“It is naïve to think that any exemption the ACT Government might provide churches will not be challenged in the future,” Mr Shelton said.
“No government should create a vulnerability to religious freedom, one of the most basic human rights.
“A redefinition of marriage in the ACT is likely to end up in the High Court. It would be disappointing if Australia went down the American path of having judges determining important social policy.”
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