1. Abortion drugs – Marie Stopes wants them subsidised by YOU!
Cherish Life (Qld) reports that Marie Stopes, the large chain of abortion providers, has applied to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Advisory Committee, asking that the abortion drugs be funded by taxpayers. The application is being considered at their March meeting (see agenda). The drugs, Mifepristone Linepharma (RU486) and GyMiso, currently cost around $300 according to a Health and Ageing Department spokeswoman.
1. Politics - federal electioneering
The election campaign is on in earnest with Prime Minister Julia Gillard spending the week in Rooty Hill in Western Sydney. The Labor Party acknowledges that they need to hold the seats in Western Sydney if they hope to win the election.
Andrew Bolt pointed out the irony of choosing to visit Rooty Hill. He noted that, in the last election campaign, Julia Gillard made various promises during a speech in Rooty Hill – and many of them have been broken. The Bolt Report, 3/3/2013.
It seems the election campaign is on in earnest – even Tony Abbott visited Western Sydney last week!
2. Tasmania – proposal to legalise abortion - submissions needed
Tasmania’s Health Minister Michelle O’Byrne announced yesterday (7/3/2013) that she plans to introduce legislation to legalise (‘decriminalise’) abortion – based on Victoria’s abortion law!
A Public Consultation is being conducted by the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services. Draft legislation and a Discussion Paper have just been released.
SUBMISSIONS CLOSE on MARCH 22. Full details on the DHHS website.
We will send a separate email with full details next week.
3. Polyamory lobby group set up in Australia
Yes, the Polyamory Action Lobby (PAL) has recently been set up to lobby for ‘polyamorous marriage’ in Australia.
Did you hear about it on TV or in the newspapers? NO!
Just like the Federal Court decision last week, the mainstream media have been mostly SILENT!
It was first reported on Alternative Media Network – City Hub on 7 February (link).
Senator Cory Bernardi, who was criticised last year for mentioning polygamy during the recent debate on same-sex ‘marriage’, referred to the group in the Senate on 28 February (read his speech here). Quoting the article, he said, “The lobby was set up not only to fight for legal rights, but also to challenge cultural misconceptions about polyamorous relationships.”
PAL is running a petition to the House of Representatives, which reads, “For too long has Australia denied people the right to marry the ones they care about. We find this abhorrent. We believe that everyone should be allowed to marry their partners, and that the law should never be a barrier to love. And that's why we demand nothing less than the full recognition of polyamorous families.”
The petition is at Change.org.
Who is behind PAL? People who belong to the Greens!
Senator Bernardi noted that some Greens say they oppose polygamy, but their policy actually supports “marriage for all”, “regardless of sexuality or gender identity”.
He then said, “But who is behind the Polyamory Action Lobby? PAL's president is Brigitte Garozzo. PAL's spokesman is Timothy Scriven. And Kieran Adair is also one of PAL's founders. And what do these militant polyamorists have in common? I will tell you. They are all associated with the Greens.”
Andrew Bolt pointed out that Senator Bernardi was criticised but that polyamorists are now proving him right! Only two other media items appeared – Vex News and World News magazine (which included comments made by Senator Eric Abetz’ about the Greens’ extreme policies.)
Read Andrew Bolt’s article: Bernardi dumped, yet polygamists prove him right
Read Senator Cory Bernardi’s speech here
4. Marriage – Update on Federal Court decision - GOOD article!
Last week we reported on the Federal Court decision, where Justice Jayne Jagot said that marriage wasn’t discriminatory. We noted the mainstream press didn’t report on the decision.
Andrew Bolt has now written a good article about the decision. He begins, “A VERBAL trick is being played by activists and journalists trying to fool Australians into backing same-sex marriage...” Read it here.
5. Climate change - Climate Commission report 'The Angry Summer'
The federal government’s Climate Commission is claiming that the climate events of the summer are affected by climate change. The Report, “The Angry Summer” says. “The report says, ''Extreme heatwaves and catastrophic bushfire conditions during the 'Angry Summer' were made worse by climate change.'' The report is on the Climate Commission’s website – click here.
6. Update: Geert Wilders and religious freedom
Babette Francis, who leads Endeavour Forum, has had an insightful article published in Online Opinion. Babette discusses the proposed federal discrimination law, with its restriction on free speech, and goes on to relate it to the recent tour by Geert Wilders.
Article: Liberty dhimminished, Online Opinion, 1 March 2013.
1. UK: High Court hears case about bus ads re homosexuality
Core Issues Trust, a non-profit Christian ministry, had planned to run a series of ads on London buses and entered into a contract with Transport for London. The ads read, “Not Gay. Ex Gay, Post Gay and Proud. Get over it”. The Chair of TFL, Boris Johnson, intervened to stop the ads being displayed on buses. However, ads by Stonewall promoting homosexuality were allowed.
On 28 February the UK High Court began conducting a judicial review of the decision. Core Issues Trust, supported by the Christian Legal Centre, is asking the Court to “reverse the ban on the basis that the Mayor had unlawfully restricted free speech, and had discriminated against the Trust by stifling one side of the debate on the issue.”
Report: Christian Concern, 25/2/2013.
2. USA: Marriage – Florida Bill to support marriage
Some good news! Politicians in Florida, USA, have introduced a Bill to support marriage – a “Marriage Education Handbook” would be produced, which is designed to help strengthen relationships between couples by including information on communication skills, conflict resolution, parenting and finance management. The Handbook, which provides contacts for counselling and professional help, would be distributed through court clerks in the state and offered to those applying for marriage licenses.
Report: Citizen Link, Focus on the Family, 7/3/2013.
3. UK: Conservative party donor withdraws support
When a political party moves form its core values, they risk losing financial support – not to mention support in the polls!
In the UK, the Conservative Party’s biggest donor, Lord Ashcroft, who has donated more than £10 million, has decided to withdraw funding for its next general election campaign over the Government’s push for the introduction of same-sex ‘marriage’.
Report: Christian Concern
4. Puerto Rica – 200,000 protest against same-sex ‘marriage’
More than 200,000 Christians gathered in late February in Puerto Rico’s capital in protest of proposals that would introduce same-sex ‘marriage’, saying that they are standing up for traditional values and protecting the family.
Report: Christian Post, 20/2/2013
1. NSW Inquiry into same-sex ‘marriage – Hearings being held
Submissions for the Inquiry closed on 1 March. The Social Issues Committee of the NSW Legislative Council is now holding public hearings. The first was held on Wednesday - another is on 15 March.
Inquiry website - click here.
Submissions – click here - 1023 are posted .
Public hearings – transcripts – 6 March – 15 March.
Click here for our Campaign page.
2. Tasmania – Euthanasia Discussion Paper - submissions close 15 March
SUBMISSIONS CLOSE Friday 15 March, 2013.
Please get your submissions in! They only need to be short – expressing your opposition to the legalisation of euthanasia. However, if you can respond in a more detailed manner, responding to the questions posed in the Discussion Paper, that would be best!
Visit our Campaign page for full details and information about making your submission.
This Update contains News and Issues - PLUS Ongoing Campaigns...
News and Issues
1. Abortion: Medicare funding for sex selection abortions
Abortions are funded by Medicare in Australia. Victorian Senator John Madigan, of the Democratic Labor Party, has announced that he plans to introduce a private member’s Bill to remove funding for “abortions 'procured on the basis of gender selection''. That is, babies who are aborted simply because they are a boy or a girl. Senator Madigan plans to approach pro-life Senators to enlist their support.
Media report: Bill to oppose funds for gender-based abortion, SMH, 27/2/2013.
Sonja Couroupis from Life Network Australia has a great article on Online Opinion TODAY about sex selection abortion– Read it and support her by adding a comment! Click here.
2. Abortion: DLP Senator John Madigan speaks about abortion
Senator John Madigan, of the DLP, addressed the issue of abortion during a speech to the Sydney Institute on 18 Feb, 2013. He said he wanted the issue of abortion to be discussed as part of the election campaign. He criticised Julia Gillard, saying the government had done nothing to make abortion ‘rare’. He also criticised the statement by Tony Abbott, when he said that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare”. Sen Madigan pointed out that abortion is never safe – that someone always dies.
Media report: No such thing as a safe abortion, says Madigan - The Courier, 19/2/2013
Sen Madigan’s speech is on the Sydney Institute website – click here
3. Marriage – Is it outdated? Result of vote poll
During the week we asked you to vote on a poll that asked, “Do you think marriage is an outdated institution?”
The result was overwhelming in support of marriage - Yes 32% to No 68% - a total of 14,107 votes.
Thank you for voting. Click here for that article.
4. Homosexual discrimination – Update on the ‘CYC and ‘Way Out case
Back in June, 2007, Christian Youth Camps at Philip Island (run by the Christian Brethren) refused to allow Way Out, an organisation that said they wanted to run a workshop on homophobia for their same-sex group, to use their campsite.
Way Out (part of Cobaw Community Health Service) took a complaint to the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and then went to a hearing at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). Cobaw/Way Out won at VCAT in 2010, and CYC was ordered to pay them $5,000 in compensation.
Christian Youth Camps have appealed the case. The Victorian Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, began hearing the appeal last week. In their opening statements, CYC apparently claimed that the reason they refused the booking was because of their stand against pre-marital sex, not because the group was opposed to homosexuals coming to the resort.
Read Vickie Janson’s comment in light of venues refusing to lease their premises – click here.
5. Alcohol abuse
The ABC’s Four Corners program this week (25/2/2013) investigated the problems of alcohol abuse on our society. They highlighted the Newcastle strategy, where pubs are closing earlier and a lockout occurring at 1 am. Apparently it has been successful in reducing crime in the city.
The program outline notes, “The latest figures show that each year as many as 70,000 people are involved in alcohol-related assaults. In all, it is estimated that alcohol-related violence costs the community $187 million each year.”
A Coalition of groups is calling for the legal age for drinking alcohol to be raised, and for hotel hours to be reduced.
Watch the Four Corners program/read the transcript – click here.
6. Marriage Update
New Zealand - A NZ Parliamentary Select Committee, the Government Administration Committee, has released a report on same-sex ‘marriage’ – the Committee recommends that a bill to legalise same-sex marriage be passed into law. It is sponsored by Labour MP Louisa Wall. The Committee recommended that an amendment should be included to ‘make it clear that no minister was obliged to marry someone against their own beliefs’. The NZ Herald reports, “The committee received 21,533 submissions on the bill, 2898 of which had unique content. Of the submissions, 10,487 were in favour and 8148 against.”
Media report: Committee approval for gay marriage bill, NZ Herald, 27/2/2013.
UK and France - Bills to legalise same-sex ‘marriage’ have passed the lower house in each nation, and are currently before the Upper Houses. Please pray that they are not passed.
Australia – same-sex ‘marriage’ claim rejected by the Federal Court
This case was not reported on by the Australian mainstream media.
You might like to ask ‘WHY NOT?’
The only reports were on Bloomberg in the USA and the homosexual media. Thanks to FamilyVoice for noticing it on the USA website.
Simon Margan, a homosexual activist, took a case to the Australian Human Rights Commission, claiming that he, along with his group of co-complainers, was discriminated against because they could not ‘marry’. He claimed discrimination on the basis of sex and marital status. When AHRC dismissed the complaint, Margan took the case to the Federal Court.
Now Justice Jayne Jagot has handed down her decision. The complaint was dismissed – the Judge said that men and woman are treated equally because the Marriage Act prohibits both two men marrying and two women marrying! No discrimination there!
Justice Jagot noted that any change had to be made by parliament – it could not be made through the courts. The Judge ordered Simon Margan to pay the costs of the Commonwealth and the states of Queensland and NSW (the defendants in the case).
The decision is online: Simon Margan v. President, Australian Human Rights Commission (1205 is the main case).
Media report – Bloomberg – click here.
7. Free speech – High Court rules against street preachers in SA
The High Court has ruled to uphold the constitutionality of a Council bylaw in Adelaide, SA.
Two brothers, Samuel and Caleb Corneloup, had regularly preached in Rundle Mall in Adelaide. The Council had said they needed a permit in line with their bylaws, which prohibited preaching, canvassing or haranguing on any road without a permit.
The ABC reports, “The brothers won a case in the South Australian Supreme Court, which found the law was at odds with the implied constitutional freedom of political communication.”
Then the South Australian Government appealed against the decision to the High Court. This week the High Court has ruled the by-law is constitutional and the Council does have the power to make by-laws for the governance of its area and the convenience, comfort and safety of its inhabitants.
It seems that the case was about the ‘legality of the Council by-laws’ – not about whether preaching on the street is legal or not.
Following the High Court decision, the Council said, "We certainly would like to work with the preachers to minimise the impacts on all city users, but also not curtail freedom of speech."
Media report: High Court rules against street preachers, ABC, 27/2/2013.
High Court decision – click here.
8. Gender identity and toilets
Three situations this week regarding the use of toilets by people who identify as the opposite gender to the one they were born.
a) Massachusetts, USA – “The Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester has issued orders to the state’s K-12 public schools requiring them to permit “transgender” boys and girls to use the opposite sex’s locker rooms, bathrooms, and changing facilities as long as they claim to identify with that gender….”
Read the Lifesite report. Read the official document.
b) University of Regina,Canada - The university set up single person use restrooms that could be used by men or women – it had two stick figures and the word ‘restroom’.
Now the signs have been changed: “New signs now show the same stick figures but ‘restroom’ has been replaced with the words ‘gender neutral,’ followed by an explanation that reads: ‘This restroom may be used by any person regardless of gender identity or expression,”
Read Bill Muehlenberg’s commentary on this – click here.
c) Transgender child in Colorado - The parents of a child in Colorado have made a complaint against their child’s school. The child, Coy Mathis, is six. The child was born a male, but was raised as a girl by the parents from 18 months old. The school initially allowed the child to use the girls’ restroom – but has now said the child has to use the boys’ toilets or the nurse’s toilet. Media report – click here.
The question is, “Why did the parents decide to raise the child as a girl at 18 months?”
* South Australia - Independent MP Bob Such’s Euthanasia Bill is being debated in the House of Assembly – see Paul Russell’s comment (from No Euthanasia).
* Tasmania – Discussion Paper – submissions invited – see Campaigns section below.
* Professor George Williams, a law academic who supports euthanasia and has provided a legal opinion to support state-based same sex ‘marriage, has written an article supporting Tasmania’s euthanasia legislation.
* Montana, USA – last week the Montana House Judiciary Committee opposed assisted suicide by a vote of 12 to 8. The group “Montanans against assisted suicide” is running a campaign to have a law that specifically outlaws assisted suicide (source).
* Formation of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) Europe - a group of nearly 20 leading anti-euthanasia activists representing 11 countries recently gathered in Rome to launch a pan-European coalition to “To promote "care, not killing." Read report from Lifesite News, 19/2/2013.
10. Islamic persecution
Two Coptic Christians have been beheaded in New Jersey and a Muslim man has been arrested for their murders. Bill reports on this story, a recent case in Sydney and three other examples of persecution of Christians by Muslims. Click here to read Bill’s article.
11. More Islamic persecution - Lars Hedegaard
Lars Hedegaard, the President of the International Free Press Society, has campaigned for freedom of the press, especially in Denmark following the printing of the cartoons about Mohammed. When he expressed concern about the violence against women and children in Islam, he was prosecuted for ‘hate speech’. A few weeks ago, he was confronted by a man dressed as a ‘postman’ at his door – who shot at his head. Fortunately the shot missed – Lars punched him and the man eventually ran off. Now Lars is in hiding under police protection.
Melanie Phillips tells the story brilliantly: The terminal poison of the European 'liberal'
She concludes: “The message from this most chilling tale of our times is that in Sweden and other western ‘progressive’ circles, anyone who protests at the phenomenon of ‘honour violence’ that terrorises Muslim women and children is a racist; and if a supposed Islamic fanatic tries to murder that protester, well, that just proves what a racist the protester is. Stalin would have approved.”
12. Follow up articles on Geert Wilders in Sydney
The Sydney speech by Geert Wilders was held at a Reception centre in Liverpool.
Again, there was a protest outside, but apparently it was not as violent as the one in Melbourne.
Two journalists report on the event:
Miranda Devine – Free speech stoned to death, 24/2/2013, Sunday Telegraph.
Paul Sheehan - Overkill in the name of Islam threat, SMH, 25/2/2013.
1. New South Wales - Marriage
Submissions close today for the NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into same-sex ‘marriage’.
Click here for our Campaign page.
2. Tasmania - Euthanasia Discussion Paper
A Bill to legalise euthanasia has been proposed by Labor Premier Lara Giddings and Greens leader Nick McKim. Submissions are invited – they close on 15 March, 2013.
Click here for our Campaign page.
What a week! An overview of some of the highlights of the week!
News and Issues
1. Politics: Nielsen Poll puts Coalition further ahead
The latest Nielsen poll shows a further decline in support for Labor – with Labor on 37% and the Coalition now on 47%. After preferences, this amounts to 56% for the Coalition to 44% for Labor. Tony Abbott was ‘preferred Prime Minister’ for the first time in seven months – with 49% compared to Julia Gillard on 45%. Media report – ABC.
2. Homophobia in Queensland schools
In Queensland, pressure is being put on the government to introduce anti-homophobia programs in schools – similar programs already operate in Victoria and NSW.
Now a university study has apparently found that Queensland schools – teachers and students – are the ‘most homophobic!
Article: Bullying teachers, peers make school hell for gays, and Queensland is most homophobic of all – Courier Mail, 21/2/2013
3. Update: Geert Wilders tour
The Melbourne meeting included a protest by radical left groups and a huge police presence – the protest was organised by the Socialist Alliance and friends. Two venues cancelled in Melbourne, and the venue that hosted the event has been subjected to abuse.
This article on Quadrant Online gives an excellent description of Geert Wilders' speech and the aggressive protests; along with comparison with the ‘Australian Islamic Peace Conference’.
Geert Wilders has posted his speech on his website – click here to read it.
Andrew Bolt says, ‘If Gilders is wrong, explain this conference’ – he lists some of the speakers at the forthcoming Australian Islamic Peace Conference – many of the invited speakers have spoken of apostates being killed and the sort of things that Geert Wilders is warning about! The conference organiser, Waseem Razvi, promotes sharia law in Australia and said last year, “we are not non-violent, we are violent but when there is a need for it.”
In addition, Waseem Razvi said that Prime Minister Julia Gillard “has agreed to be present in the conference”!
Read Andrew’s blog post for a detailed list of speakers and their statements!
Bill Muehlenberg has also written about Geert here.
Peter is writing an article about the responses to Geert Wilders’ tour and the impact on free speech – we will send that out on Monday.
4. Creation and evolution on Q & A
Did you see Q & A (ABC TV) on Monday night?
Click here for the program and transcript - ‘A Show about Nothing’.
John Dickson, an Anglican from Sydney who is the Director of the Centre for Public Christianity, was on the panel along with Professor Lawrence Krauss, an evolutionist.
In response to a question of teaching creation in schools, Krauss criticises the teaching of creation and even calls it “child abuse”.
John Dickson’s initial response was, “This is going to be an agree fest.” He went on to say that “you’ll find that most mainstream Christians are very comfortable with science and with all of the discoveries of science, including the 13.72 billion years ago there was a bang and evolution by natural selection.” Thankfully, he went on to object to Krauss calling it ‘child abuse’ as it “inflames the conversation” and that those who have been abused “finds that a very odd use of that very loaded term.”
It wasn’t a surprise to hear John Dickson express this view on creation. In 2008 he wrote an article for ISCAST, an organisation that promotes theistic evolution. Creation Ministries asked Professor Benno Zuiddam to respond to the article – and there were subsequent interchanges. Read Professor Zuiddam’s critique here.
5. Islam and ‘welfare’ in the UK
In the UK, influential Muslim preacher Anjem Choudary has been secretly filmed saying that Muslims should get welfare from the government.
He said some Islamic figures had only worked one or two days a year; The Telegraph reports, “The rest of the year they were busy with jihad [holy war] and things like that,” he said. “People will say, ‘Ah, but you are not working’. But the normal situation is for you to take money from the kuffar [non-believers]. So we take Jihad Seeker’s Allowance. You need to get support.”
He also said, “We are going to take England — the Muslims are coming.”
Article: Muslim preacher urges followers to claim 'Jihad Seeker's Allowance', Telegraph, 17/2/2013.
Just this week…
"Three British Muslim men have been found guilty of planning a string of bombings that prosecutors said could have been deadlier than the attacks on London's transport network in 2005…" Read more.
6. No abortions in Bendigo, Victoria
In 2008, Bendigo Health opened a clinic in Bendigo to carry out abortions (article).
But late last year, it was revealed that the clinic is not doing abortions because they can’t find an abortionist or doctor to perform them. The local paper reported, “Bendigo Health’s abortion clinic has been unavailable for almost a year because no local doctor will take it on. “The Choices Clinic … was suspended in January as there is no Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in Bendigo prepared to complete this work,” a spokesperson for Bendigo Health said this week” (article).
Liberal Health Minister David Davis visited Bendigo during January. No reason was given for the visit, but there was speculation it was regarding a planned new hospital (article). But a week later, the paper reported that the Minister was supporting the re-opening of the abortion clinic in Bendigo (article). There have been suggestions that a local GP could run the clinic – but Bendigo Health says all the local GPs are “conscientious objectors”!
It isn’t a surprise that David Davis is trying to get the abortion clinic operating – he voted FOR Victoria’s Abortion Law Reform Act in 2008 (see Life Vote).
7. Politics – KAP Member resigns over abortion
Bernard Gaynor has resigned from Katter's Australian Party (KAP).
Why? Because the party failed to oppose abortion. Apparently KAP doesn't take a position on the issue, believing it's a matter of conscience for individual party members.
Mr Gaynor was initially suspended in January because of his comments about homosexual teachers. He also said he wouldn’t buy halal meat!
In a statement on his website he expressed concern that some party members support same-sex ‘marriage’.
8. ACT: Changes to ‘gender’ being considered
The ACT government is considering changes that would make changes relating to ‘gender’ in the ACT Births, Deaths and Marriages Act. The Act already defines intersex and transgender. However, the Law Reform Advisory Council has recommended that the term ‘sex and gender diverse’ be used rather than ‘gender identity’. They propose the use of ‘indeterminate’ as a gender, but only ‘when it is not possible to determine the sex of a premature still-born child’.'
In their report, ''Beyond the Binary: Legal Recognition of Sex and Gender Diversity in the ACT'', the Law Reform Advisory Council also says that a person should be able to ‘self-identity’ their gender without having to have sex-change surgery in order to change their gender on a birth certificate. (P 33) This is not currently allowed anywhere under Australian law.
The Report will now be considered by the Cabinet.
If you live in the ACT, please contact your MPs to express concern at these proposals.
Click here for our webpage with MP contacts for the ACT.
Law Reform Advisory Council report:
Beyond the Binary: legal recognition of sex and gender diversity in the ACT
Media Report: Intersex pondered as gender category, Canberra Times, 18/2/2013.
9. SA: Euthanasia
The SA Parliament is currently debating a euthanasia bill - Ending Life with Dignity Bill.
FamilyVoice state officer David d'Lima said Independent MP Bob Such’s latest proposal shows it would be impossible to control legal euthanasia. "The bill makes no distinction between those who are close to death, and those who have been diagnosed with a specific terminal illness," FamilyVoice SA state officer David d'Lima said in a letter to South Australian MPs."
FamilyVoice Media Release, 21/2/2013.
1. Federal anti-discrimination laws
The Senate Committee has released its report on the draft anti-discrimination laws. The Committee, dominated by Labor and Greens, has gone even further than the draft proposal!
The Report recommends that exemptions for religious organisations be drastically reduced, saying that the Bill should be “amended to remove exceptions allowing religious organisations to discriminate against individuals in the provision of services, where that discrimination would otherwise be unlawful.” (See Page 56 -)
The report recommends that religious exceptions should be based on the very restrictive Tasmanian law – which ONLY allows exceptions on the attributes of 'religious belief or affiliation' and 'religious activity' (See Page 68, 5.56)
The Report does recommend that the ‘insult or offend’ provision be removed – Section 19 2(b)
There are two pages of ‘Recommendations’ at the start of the Report (Pages ix-x)
The Coalition Senators have written a dissenting report.
Our Campaign page – click here.
2. Tasmania – Euthanasia Discussion paper
Don’t forget – submissions close on 15 March.
Click here for full details on our Campaign page.
3. NSW – same-sex ‘marriage Bill
The NSW Legislative Council is conducting an inquiry into same-sex ‘marriage.
Submissions close on 1 March.
See our Campaign page for the information we sent out earlier.
News - Issues - Ongoing Campaigns...
1. WA Election on 9 March
The WA election is only three weeks away. Current Liberal Premier Colin Barnett is being challenged by Labor leader, Mark McGowan. A recent Newspoll found people thought the Opposition leader was ‘likeable and caring’ but said that “Premier Colin Barnett was the better economic manager, by 54 per cent to 33 per cent.”
Mr McGowan says he opposes the federal government’s carbon tax .Piers Akerman writes that Mr McGowan has avoided being associated with Julia Gillard, saying “He knows she is electoral poison.”
Reports – The Australian – Opinion article by Piers Akerman
2. Mining tax – reduced revenue
The federal government’s Minerals Resource Rent Tax collected $126 million in the past six months. Whilst the government claims the lower price of coal and ore was responsible for the reduced tax income, it has been pointed out that the Treasury took that into account when reducing their estimated profit from $3 billion, in the May 2012 budget, to $2 billion last October.
Some analysts say there is a flaw in the new design of the MRRT which allows mining companies to value their assets at market worth, and depreciate them over the effective life of the mine, rather than valuing them at the ‘historic cost’ of the mine as was proposed under Kevin Rudd’s proposed mining tax. In addition, state royalties are ‘tax deductible’ under the MRRT.
Meanwhile, the government was planning to use the revenue to fund billions of dollars of programs, including increasing the superannuation guarantee levy and altering the tax on superannuation for lower-paid workers – thus creating more problems for the Budget..
Media report – The Australian
3. Labor Party woes
The Labor Party, especially the NSW branch, is facing more pressures. The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption continues to investigate charges against former NSW Labor MP Eddie Obeid. (Media reports)
At the federal level, Craig Thompson, formerly a Labor Party MP and now an Independent, has been charged with fraud relating to his time at the Health Services Union. He appeared in court in Melbourne last week. The federal Labor Party has relied on his vote in parliament. (Media report)
4. Religion - The Pope resigns
The Roman Catholic Church was shocked by the announcement that the Pope will resign at the end of February due to his poor physical health. This is the first time a Pope has ‘resigned’ since 1415 – however, the Pope had previously spoken about resigning if he was unable to carry out the job. A ‘conclave’ of cardinals will meet in Rome to select a new Pope during March.
Media reports: click here.
5. Islam in the UK – Ofcom finds Muslim TV Channels preaching ‘hate’
The Telegraph reports, “The communications watchdog, Ofcom, has made a series of rulings against channels which allowed “inflammatory” material to be broadcast in breach of rules which forbid extreme opinions gaining a platform on British television...”
One of the preachers found to have breached the rules is Zakir Naik, the founder and President of the Islamic Research Foundation which owns the Peace TV channel (source). The Channel was found to have breached the rules by showing Zakir Naik saying that if a Muslim leaves Islam and propagates his new faith then the death penalty should apply (quote). He was banned from entering the UK in 2010 because of his views.
Read the Telegraph article.
Interestingly, Waseem Razvi, leader of Austalia's Islamic Research and Educational Academy, and organser of the forthcoming 'Australian Islamic Peace Conference', was recently promoted as the "Zakir Naik of Australia" (source). One would hope he might distance himself from these comments by Zakir Naik.
6. Same-sex ‘marriage’ poll – results
Thank you for voting on the Yahoo poll on same-sex ‘marriage’ last week.
The percentage opposing same-sex marriage stayed around 55% throughout the day. By 8 pm nearly 16,000 people had voted and the percentage opposing same-sex ‘marriage’ was 56%. Thanks for voting!
Relating to the issues
1. UK – Impact of same-sex ‘marriage’ on primary schools and ‘liberty of conscience'
Two important documents….
A. Legal Opinion
Aidan O’Neill QC, a human rights lawyer, has provided a legal opinion on how the legalisation of same-sex ‘marriage’ would impact on a wide range of ‘liberty of conscience’ issues – faith schools, chaplains, churches, marriages by registrars, sex education and so on.
An important 1 page summary of the legal opinion, by Coalition for Marriage is online.
B. ‘Gay Marriage in Primary schools – the impact of re-defining marriage on education’
If you don’t know what your children might be taught if same-sex ‘marriage’ is legalised, then this 15 page booklet published by the UK Coalition for Marriage is ESSENTIAL reading!
This is a 2MB file – it is available online.
2. UK - Same-sex ‘marriage’
Many people are wondering why some Conservatives in the UK have embraced the same-sex ‘marriage’ agenda.
Opinion writer Brendan O’Neill’s article gives some important insights:
Gay marriage a feelgood fight for issues-lite elite - Brendan O'Neill, The Australian, February 11, 2013 (also posted here)
“HAS there ever been a weirder political issue than gay marriage? A cool-headed look back at events in Britain last week, where David Cameron's gay marriage bill was passed in the House of Commons, suggests, no, there hasn't been. Think about it. Here we have politicians who have little commitment to the idea of rights (Cameron's Tories) offering to expand marriage rights to people who have never traditionally wanted to get married (gays), and they have been cheered on by liberal commentators who think marriage is a naff institution …”
The title of one of Brendan O’Neill’s blog posts at The Telegraph (UK) gives even more insights:
The gay radicals of the past didn't want equality: they wanted liberation, and thought marriage was oppression
3. Global warming - The number of polar bears
We often hear, from global warming advocates, that polar bear numbers are DECREASING. The following is a very insightful essay published in the Wall Street Journal. The article is significant in that the writer went to Canada to investigate polar bear numbers, and says he initially intended to write an article about the demise of the polar bears and be a ‘hero’ of the environmental movement. But when he investigated, he found that the truth is somewhat different.
Read the article for his account of how many locals say the numbers are increasing.
Are Polar Bears Really Disappearing? By ZAC UNGER - Wall St Journal, February 8, 2013
4. Sexuality - Expanding number of genders
There are an increasing number of ‘genders’ - and the list is expanding.
Lifesite News reports, in LGBTQIA: the expanding gender agenda (6 Feb 2013):
“Last month the New York Times published an article on the latest expansion of sexual identity among students at progressive universities in the United States. LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) no longer covers it, according to a handful of students who seem to have nothing better to do t- han reinvent themselves. “Generation LGBTQIA” want recognition for queer, intersex and asexual proclivities as well. According to the Times, this list by no means is final but continually being added to as students “move beyond the binary of male/female”, heterosexual/homosexual and reject the normal….”
1. Federal anti-discrimination law
The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee is completing its Inquiry into the draft anti-discrimination law and is preparing its Report.
The Committee will present its Report to the Senate by 18 February 2013.
Visit our campaign page.
2. Tasmania – Euthanasia
The Tasmanian government is inviting people to make submissions regarding their Discussion Paper on the legalisation of euthanasia.
Submissions close on 15 March 2013.
Visit our Campaign page for more information – and the Discussion Paper.