Party power

Three Christian political parties in Victoria have signed an agreement to create a preference flow based on ‘shared values,’ like opposition to abortion. Australian Christians, Rise Up Australia and Democratic Labor Party will create a voting block at the coming election. The historic union will help Christians make their vote count (Herald Sun 18/8/14) Christian Party leaders are being courted by major parties for their sympathies and support.

 

Removing offence

Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi is set to defy PM Tony Abbott and co-sponsor a bill to change the Racial Discrimination Act, which the government abandoned. Family First’s Bob Day will introduce the bill, which will remove the offence for “offence” or “insult” on the grounds of ethnicity (Sydney Morning Herald 15/8/14).

 

Waste ice water

Drug testing of waste water in Melbourne’s west shows one dose (30mg) of the drug ice may be used by one person out of 20 each weekend day. Availability and purity have increased as the drug becomes ‘normalised.’ Family violence services see an increase in severity of injuries inflicted by users, particularly on women (Herald Sun 3/9/14 p4). The Swedish model of drug prevention and treatment should to be applied in Australia which could cut drug use by up to 90%.

 

Legal child porn

The Napthine government has introduced Australia’s first sexting laws into Vic parliament. If passed, the law would allow child porn to be made and distributed legally for the first time.  Young people who make/send/receive explicit sexts wouldn’t be charged with child porn offences or placed on the sex offenders list. Penalties would apply if images are distributed by adults, without consent, or in an exploitative or malicious manner (TheAge.com.au 21/8/14). A very dangerous precedent.

 

Bibles back in school

Victoria’s education minister has corrected requirements for schools which banned Bible study and prayer groups. Amended rules allow greater flexibility for SRI sessions, ease staff restriction requirements, and reinforce students’ freedom to bring and distribute religious material at school or have and wear religious symbols (Herald Sun 22/8/14).