I didn’t expect the election campaign to be dominated by same-sex marriage.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s elevation of it has been a distraction from arguably far more important issues facing the nation.
None are greater than our crisis of child wellbeing where we have record numbers of kids (35,000) living in out-of-home care because of abuse or neglect. More than 250,000 kids are reported to authorities each year.
This is because families are crumbling and state child protection authorities simply can’t cope.
The physical, mental and financial costs of family failure are enormous.
This is a moral challenge that has not even rated a mention in the campaign so far.
It’s been two years since the ACL-commissioned For Kids’ Sakereport was released. This report confirmed what is well-known in social science and that is that child wellbeing goes south quickly if parents split.
Of course many kids thrive with heroic single parents but a great many do not.
For Kids’ Sake recommends measures to keep biological parents together wherever possible and to strengthen marriage because it is the gold standard for child wellbeing.
Instead, though, we are having a fruitless debate about a policy measure which results in children missing out on a biological mother or father.
This exchange on SBS Insight this week between Toowoomba GP Dr David van Gend and Senator Penny Wong shows our fingers are in our ears.
If as a society we don’t really believe that a mum and a dad matter, what hope have we of addressing the crisis in child wellbeing?
Lyle Shelton Managing Director
Register your church today for ACL’s Make It Count 2013 Election Panel webcast
The Australia Christian Lobby’s Make It Count 2013 Election Panel event will be webcast live on Monday 2nd September at churches across the country. It’s not too late to register for your church for the screening. Visit the link below for more information on how you can get involved.
Labor-Green preference deal would damage Labor’s senate candidates
The Australian Christian Lobby is urging the Labor Party to be on a unity ticket with the Coalition in not giving preferences to the Greens. ACL’s Managing Director Lyle Shelton welcomed Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s announcement to preference Greens candidates last in the lower house and urged Labor to do likewise – particularly in the senate.
Wendy Francis on the Political Spot about outdoor advertising
Wendy Francis is the Queensland Director of the Australian Christian Lobby. In this interview with the ACL’s Katherine Spackman she talks about the evidence she gave into the inquiry into outdoor advertising in the state last week.
Candidates in electorate of Blair, Queensland address voters at ACL’s Meet Your Candidate forum
On Tuesday night, the ACL conducted a ‘Meet Your Candidate’ forum in the electorate of Blair, a marginal Labor seat (4.2%) in Queensland which includes parts of Ipswich and the Scenic Rim and Lockyer Valley regions.
Outgoing Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Peter Jensen will be speaking at an event organised by QLD acl director Wendy Francis onWednesday 21st August at 10am. He will be examining what it means to speak the truth in love. It will be held at the QB Centre auditorium, 53 Prospect Road, Gaythorne, Brisbane. For more information and to register your attendance, please firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the media – a wrap up of the last week’s commentary
In the last week, the ACL has been quoted in the media on issues such as the upcoming federal election, marriage, and plans to ban sexualised advertising in Melbourne.