Media Release

Monday 19 December 2011

The Australian Christian Lobby said there should be no surprise at the level of violence and bad language used by teenagers arrested in Sydney over the weekend.

Managing Director Jim Wallace congratulates NSW Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward on the efforts she had gone to influence the arrested children for good.

"The Minister commented that she had never seen such violence and unbelievable language in girls particularly, but we endorse and normalise both by what we allow on television and popular entertainment - these things are not unconnected," he said.

A report into classification standards is due early in 2012, and state Attorneys-General are still talking of liberalising the levels of violence and sexual content by introducing R18+ games.

Only a handful of parents had responded to police requests to pick up the arrested children according to Minister Goward.

"These problems are underpinned by the poor state of parenting in Australia,” said Mr Wallace.

"The answer is not for the state to replace parents, which by the sheer scale of the problem it could never do, but to improve parenting skills," he said.

The August 2011 ACL commissioned University of Sydney For Kids' Sake research showed the number of children in out of home care had doubled in a decade and identified the need to recreate a "Community of Neighbours".

It contained recommendations for effective public policy to achieve this without great impost on the public purse.

"We congratulate the Minister in her obvious concern for these children, and recommend that she look to the University of Sydney recommendations to help tackle the problem where it stands to help most - our parenting skills", said Mr Wallace.