Stand Up Sunday

On the 3rd of June 2012, Open Doors invites you to stand up and say enough is enough. On this day, they are encouraging Churches across Australia to join  in Stand Up Sunday, supporting Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq. On that day Christians are urged to:

1. PRAY specifically for what is happening in Iraq, trusting that God would strengthen the believers there.
2.GIVE to support placement of Christians who have had to flee their homes and livelihoods because of threats to their lives and families.
3.WRITE to the Australian Government who gives millions of dollars in aid to Iraq to encourage them to act. We want them to ensure there are better safeguards in place for Christians who want to stay and be a witness in Iraq.

Open Doors says: “1 Corinthians tells us: “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it.” We as Christians have a moral responsibility to speak out against injustice.”

To register your church click here.

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POSTED 22 May 2012
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NSW churches unite on retail hours

The NSW Council of Churches has called on the NSW Government to cease further deregulation of retail trading hours in NSW. Council of Churches President, Rev Dr Ross Clifford, said. “We are particularly concerned about proposed amendments to the current Retail Trading Act that  widens the number of businesses that can operate on restricted trading days, and also allows for the stocking of shelves on major religious holidays. We are not convinced that leisure and family time for workers, together with their freedom to worship, will not be abused by the proposed changes to the law,” Dr Clifford said.

The WA Govt has deregulated retail trading hours and recently rejected moves by the Labor Party opposition party to exempt Easter Sunday from unregulated trading.
For story from the Australian Prayer Network click here.

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POSTED 4 May 2012
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Gonski working group

The Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations, Sen Jacinta Collins says : ‘A new working group will consider the findings and recommendations of the Gonski Review in relation to capital funding for Australian schools. The Capital Working Group, made up of both government and non-government school representatives, will report to the Council of Australian Governments through the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood.’

Meanwhile Christians Schools Australia has developed a model that gives members schools an idea of their future funding should the Gonski’s Panel recommendations be implemented by Government. It calculates the notional disadvantage loadings for each school. CSA is asking Principals or business mangers to send them an email to SPieterse(at)csa.edu.au requesting the information.

For full press release from Sen Collins click here.

For more details from CSA click here.

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POSTED 4 May 2012
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Stand Up Sunday

On the 3rd of June 2012, Open Doors invites you to stand up and say enough is enough. On this day, they are encouraging Churches across Australia to join  in Stand Up Sunday, supporting Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq. On that day Christians are urged to:

1. PRAY specifically for what is happening in Iraq, trusting that God would strengthen the believers there.
2.GIVE to support placement of Christians who have had to flee their homes and livelihoods because of threats to their lives and families.
3.WRITE to the Australian Government who gives millions of dollars in aid to Iraq to encourage them to act. We want them to ensure there are better safeguards in place for Christians who want to stay and be a witness in Iraq.

Open Doors says: “1 Corinthians tells us: “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it.” We as Christians have a moral responsibility to speak out against injustice.”

To register your church click here.

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POSTED 4 May 2012
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Federal Court Judges

The Federal Government has begun the search for two new High Court judges. The High Court will have two vacancies next year when justices William Gummow and Dyson Heydon step down. One source reports that Nicola Roxon, the Federal Attorney General, wants to open up the criteria to allow academics to be appointed!.  The source says that with the knowledge of what has happpened in the US, we should be prayerfully pro-active in respect of these quasi-political appointments!

For story click here.

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POSTED 20 Apr 2012
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Sunday Trading debate

The Retail Trading Hours Amendment Bill 2012 has passed the Legislative Assembly on 29 March 2012. It will now go to the upper house. Both the Labor and Liberal Parties voted in favour of the bill which deregulates trading hours making it possible for all shops to open Sunday. Southern River MP Peter Abetz, who abstained from voting on the bill, said that while he had no more than three emails in favour of the Bill, he had received probably 100 or more emails and letters from people who are very strongly opposed to the extension of trading hours.

The Labor Party moved an amendment to the bill to include Easter Sunday, along side Christmas Day, ANZAC Day and Good Friday as restricted trading days. This amendment was lost as the Liberal Party voted against it.

Moving the amendment. Labor Leader Mark McGowan said “I think Easter Sunday should be treated in the same way as Christmas Day, Anzac Day and Good Friday.” “I do not really see how adding another day, which is part of that Easter break that people generally enjoy, could be considered a huge impediment. The other point I make is that Easter Sunday has particular significance to people of Christian faith in Western Australia.”

In opposition to the amendment Troy Buswell said:  “Different groups have different days of observance. I was interested to discover this year that the wharfies have Melbourne Cup Day off.” “Our view is that Easter Sunday, notwithstanding its significance from the point of view of religious observance, is not a day that should be deemed off limits in terms of shops that can and cannot open.”

After the amendment was lost Mark McGowan said: “I do not understand why some members of the Liberal Party who express regularly in this place such grave concern about a range of issues to do with their religion did not vote in accordance with their conviction.”

“But people need to understand, and religious groups around Western Australia need to understand, what has just happened in this Parliament. This was not put to the government in an aggressive way or with any desire to undermine the intent of the legislation. All it was was an attempt to include Easter Sunday, a day when families get together and religious ceremonies are observed, which is part of that extended Easter period that is so important to so many families. People around Western Australia should understand that many Liberal Party members and most of the National Party defeated that intent on the part of the opposition.

To read the debate on Hansard March 29, 2012 click here.

To read Peter Abetz’s comments on the Bill (Hansard March 22 from page 16) click here.

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POSTED 20 Apr 2012
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Uyghur Christians

OpenDoors is asking people to consider in prayer the Ughur Christians, the Xinjiang region of China. They say a small group of about 400 christians exist among 8.9 million, mostly muslim, people. The Government approved churches in the region prohibt Uyghur’s from attending the church services which are attended by nearly all Han Chinese. Opendoors asks people to pray that more Biblical material in their language will find its way into the area.

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POSTED 24 Mar 2012
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Sexualisation of Children

WA MLC Nick Goiran has called for an inquiry into the sexualisation of children. In the first week of parliament sitting for the year (March 8), Mr Goiran moved a motion that the Legislative Council:

(a) recognises that the sexualisation of children has been an important issue of ongoing concern in the community, which has now become urgent;

(b) would welcome the establishment of an inquiry into the sexualisation of children in Western Australia;

 

(c) recommends that any inquiry into this issue take note of and consider the findings of the ―Letting the Children be Children review into the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood commissioned by the government of the United Kingdom; and

(d) recognises that it would be within the jurisdiction of the Commissioner for Children and Young People to hold such an inquiry.

For Goiran’s speech in parliament click here.

Goiran wrote an article on Perth Now “We should dictate how kids are portrayed.” 

The motion follows a similar motion in the Federal parliament by member for Kingston Amanda Rishworth.  

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POSTED 24 Mar 2012
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WA and Tassie Prostitution Bills

The Sunday Times, (March 25, 2012 pg9, Joe Spagnolo, Madam aids Pastor MP) reported that Christian Pastor and Member for Morley, Ian Britza accepted $1500 in donations from brothel owner Mary Anne Kenworthy. Britza said he would be supporting the Government bill to legalise prostution but that the donation did not influence his decision.

On March 21, 2012 the member for Carine, Tony Krsticevic MLA tabled a petition of 1078 signatures calling for the WA Prostitution Bill, which will legalise prostitution, to be heavily amended or rejected completely. The Labor Party has said it would oppose the bill while the Liberal Party members have been given a conscience vote.

The Attorney General, Christian Porter is said to be happy to work with the Labor Party to get the Government’s Prostitution laws through Parliament. Until now the Labor Party has said it would not support the bill. Fremantle MLA Adele Carles has gone to Sweden to dtermine whether the model used in that country could be adapted to WA.

Action: People are being asked to thank Tony Krsticevic for tabling this petition.

Action: people are encouraged to speak to their Labor Members of parliament urging them to maintain their opposition to the bill.

Meanwhile in Tasmania, the Attorney General Brian Wightman released a discussion paper on the Regulation of the Sex Industry. Submissions are due by 9 March. For more info and discussion paper click here.

Action: the Australian Christian Lobby, Association for Reformed Political Action, Saltshakers and other organisations say it is a good time to write to local MPs in WA and Tasmania.

Action: The ACL’s Make a Stand Website has launched the “Women are worth more” campaign for Tasmania in addition to the WA campaign of the same name. Send your local MP a letter using the Make a Stand website.

In the WA campaign as at 25 March 2012, 1207 people had sent a letter to their MP using this service.

In the tasmanian campaign as at 25 March 2012, 508 people had sent a letter to their MP using the Make a Stand website.

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POSTED 6 Mar 2012
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Gonski School Funding

Christian Schools Australia welcomed the release of the Gonski Report and congratulates the Review Panel and the Government, for a report that met the promise of being sector blind, and genuinely tackles the challenges of improving educational standards for the whole Australian community.

CSA says the Report is grounded in good research, complex and detailed, and it is a good thing that the Government has initiated a deliberately open consultation process.

For response from CSA click here.

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POSTED 6 Mar 2012
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