As election speculation swirls, debate continues over asylum seekers.
In the wake of the change in Prime Minister two weeks ago, the Government has signalled that it may be considering some policy changes. Foreign Minister Bob Carr suggested that many people coming by boat were “economic refugees”. The implication here is that people whose need for protection from persecution may be missing out.
At the weekend the Government announced that people who deliberately destroyed their travel documents would face longer processing times. ACL has long supported off-shore processing not because refugees should be punished but because there needs to be deterrents to the evil people smuggling trade which has caused hundreds of deaths at sea.
We are also concerned for the tens of millions of displaced people in places like the Thai-Burma border, North Africa and the Middle East who are recognised as refugees by the United Nations but cannot afford tens of thousands of dollars to pay a people smuggler.
The Government’s decision last year to increase the number of refugees into Australia from 13,000 to 20,000 was a welcome move. While Australia can’t help everyone, we should be generous.
While the government is canvassing policy changes, ACL believes it should look afresh at the plight of vulnerable minorities fleeing places like Syria and Egypt who are suffering persecution because of their religion.
Often these people don’t get a fair go and a recalibrated weighting system based on assessing greatest need for protection should be considered.
Lyle Shelton Managing Director
Christian Lobby congratulates SA Premier for “live odds” ban
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has today congratulated the South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, for implementing a full ban on live odds advertising on radio and television, and on ground signage during sporting events.
Father Brian Lucas on the Political Spot about Catholic Bishops election statement
Father Brian Lucas is the General Secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. In this interview with the ACL’s Katherine Spackman he talks about the recent election statement Catholic Bishops have released.
The Queensland Government (non party partisan) are currently seeking community contributions to the Queensland Plan – their vision for the next 30 years for our State. ACL Queensland State Director, Wendy Francis, has developed a short Bible study for home groups, or for individuals, looking at the six questions posed in the Queensland Plan.
Interested in a career in public policy or know someone who is? Then apply for the Lachlan Macquarie Internship (LMI). A three-month course located on the outskirts of Canberra, the LMI is aimed at fostering a greater appreciation of the relevance of a Christian worldview to public policy. Applications are now open for the August intake, and generous scholarships are available.