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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Govt funded Islam evangelism

Babette Francis reports in the Feb 2012 Endeavour Forum newsletter that the Australian Govt is promoting Islam in Australia. The Gillard Govt has spent more than $9.7m for the purpose of ‘developing and implementing activities that assist the Islamic Society of Victoria to dispel myths and misconceptions about Islam and Muslims. Babette reports that the government is funding overseas religion workers paying them a salary of $66,000 per year to preach Islam in Australia.

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POSTED 18 Feb 2012
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Christian Education

Perth risks becoming a city without a soul as people turn away from religion and towards a culture of violence, drug use and broken families, Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey says. (The West Australian, Phoebe Wearne, Dec 17, 2011). He says non-compulsory religious educton should be reinstated in State Schools. For story: Click HERE

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POSTED 23 Dec 2011
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Greens Agenda Talks

On 15 Nov 2011, 6.30pm, the National Civic Council is holding a dinner at the Shun Fung Chinese Restaurant, Barrack Square, Perth. The topic is “Inside the Greens’ Agenda. Keynote speakers are Sen Eric Abetz, who will speak on the Greens assault on jobs and Industry and Senator John Madigan who will speak on the Greens assault on religious freedom and family. For more and to book wa@ncc.org.au or call 9277 1222.

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POSTED 10 Nov 2011
CAT Events
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Bill Muehlenberg Talks

The Association for Reformed Political Action, together with the Social and Political Youth Social Club is hosting the “Culture Wars” lecture series with guest speaker Bill Muehlenberg.

The Culture Wars: Christian Culture under Attack

Lecture 1 (Nov 30, 2011@8pm): Attack from Other religions

Lecture 2 (Dec 1, 2011@8pm): Attack from Secularists.

Both lectures will be held at the Kelmscott Free Reformed Church, Lake Road, Kelmscott. A collection will be held at the lectures to contribute to the funding of Bill’s work.

For more on Bill Muehlenberg visit his CultureWatch blog at www.billmuehlenberg.com

Further information:  email arpa@frca.org.au

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POSTED 10 Nov 2011
CAT Events
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Smith Lecture

On 21 Sept 2011 the Perth Smith Lecture will be held on the topic “would we be better off without religion?” Speaking is Dr John Dickson from the Centre for Public Christianity. It will be at the Central Park Conference Centre 5.30pm-8pm For more on the speaker: johndickson.org/bio.

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POSTED 13 Aug 2011
CAT Events
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Religious Education

The Age reports on an article on Christian Religious Education and a complaint that has been lodged with the Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission by those opposed to religious education.

Action: Saltshakers asks people to vote yes to the poll the Age is running. To see article and scroll down to the poll see: http://www.theage.com.au/national/school-religion-classes-probed-20110512-1ekr9.html#poll

At the time that Saltshakers asked for Action (May 16) it reported that of the 33,000 votes, 53% voted yes. By June 3, 80438 voted, of which 78% had voted Yes.

 

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POSTED 27 Jun 2011
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Religious Freedom Report

The long-awaited report Freedom of Religion and Belief in the 21st Century Project (FRB project) has been released. It was prepared by the Australian Multicultural Foundation for the Human Rights Commission.

For the ACL take on the report: http://australianchristianlobby.org.au/2011/03/freedom-of-religion-report-leaves-freedom-of-religion-alone/

For report: http://www.humanrights.gov.au/frb/Report_2011.pdf

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POSTED 28 Mar 2011
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Free to Believe

The United Nations is expected to deal with a resolution that will provide international legitimacy to national laws that punish blasphemy or otherwise ban criticism of a religion.

Action: Open Doors, Christian Media and the Australian Christian Lobby are asking people to show their face and sign a Free to Believe petition to defeat the resolution that condones state-sponsored persecution of Christians. As at 29 Oct 2010 almost 5000 had signed the petition. To sign petition and for more: http://www.freetobelieve.com.au/ or visit: http://christianmedia.org.au/

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POSTED 30 Oct 2010
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Without Religion

The Economist Magazine is running an on-line debate on the motion: This house believes that religion is a force for good. The debate closes Friday Oct 15, 2010. As at Oct 14, 25% agreed with the motion that religion was a force for good. To vote and to read the discussion on the debate see: http://www.economist.com/debate/overview/185&sa_campaign=debateseries/debate62/alert/round/open

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POSTED 17 Oct 2010
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