AUSTRALIAN  PRAYER  NETWORK  NEWSLETTER – AUSTRALIAN  NEWS  29th  January  2014

  • CORY BERNARDI CLASHES WITH MALCOLM TURNBULL OVER SAME SEX MARRIAGE
  • NSW PREMIER O’FARRELL CALLS ON COMMUNITY TO ASSIST ADDRESS ALCOHOL-FUELLED VIOLENCE
  • TONY ABBOTT REJECTS UNITED NATIONS CALL TO BAN PARENTS FROM SMACKING CHILDREN
  • A NIGHT OF PRAYER ACROSS AUSTRALIA
     

CORY BERNARDI CLASHES WITH MALCOLM TURNBULL OVER SAME SEX MARRIAGE

Malcolm Turnbull is free – for the time being – to publicly promote gay marriage without risking his position in cabinet, despite demands for his resignation from  Senator Cory Bernardi.  Senator Bernardi says the Coalition has a longstanding position that marriage is between a man and a woman, and Mr Turnbull, as a member of cabinet, is obliged to adhere to that policy. But Tony Abbott is relaxed about Mr Turnbull playing a role in the renewed debate over gay marriage. “Both Malcolm and Cory are entitled to their views,” a senior source said.
 
The source said Mr Turnbull was “within his rights” to make public comments on the issue, but would have to vote with cabinet colleagues if legislation came before the parliament and the Coalition party room denied a conscience vote. Earlier, Senator Bernardi said there was no room for personal views where cabinet ministers were concerned. “If Malcolm Turnbull wants to talk about fringe issues outside party policy, he should resign from the frontbench,” he told the ABC. “Our longstanding party position is that marriage is between a man and a woman. Our frontbenchers need to reflect that in any comments they make.”
 
The Prime Minister said that if fresh gay marriage legislation was proposed in the parliament, it would be considered “in the normal way”. “If it is the policy of our party that a particular thing is so, that’s something that our party is committed to,” Mr Abbott said. “If there is no policy on a particular matter, well then obviously there is a free vote. And in the end what our policy is, is a matter for the party room.” The Prime Minister said his own opposition to gay marriage was well known. Mr Turnbull toed the party line to vote against gay marriage when it was considered by the parliament last year.
 
But, with new legislation on the issue expected in the new year, he said Coalition MPs should get a free vote. “I think it is likely that we will have a free vote, but as Tony Abbott has said, it is a decision for the party room, not for him,” Mr Turnbull said. “If a free vote is allowed I will certainly vote in favour of a marriage equality bill.” Labor’s Tanya Plibersek wants Mr Turnbull to co-sponsor a gay marriage bill. But he said that was impossible. “I can’t co-sponsor a private member’s bill because I’m a member of the cabinet so I’m not a private member.”
 

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

 

NSW PREMIER O’FARRELL CALLS ON COMMUNITY TO ASSIST ADDRESS ALCOHOL-FUELLED VIOLENCE

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell says that alcohol-fuelled violence is the fault of the community and Australia has to change its drinking culture.  He made the comments whilst announcing a range of measures designed to address the binge drinking culture and associated violence in NSW. He said that a series of measures in Kings Cross and Manly had led to a drop in violence incidents in hotels and clubs whilst measures at Kings Cross had led to a one-third drop in assaults on licenced premises. “The police and government agencies are doing their bit, but what we need now is for the community to come to the party” Mr O’Farrell said.
 
“Just as they made drink driving completely unacceptable so too they must make it culturally unacceptable for people to misuse and abuse alcohol and drugs and create problems for other people” Mr O’Farrell said. He said “the police crackdown on alcohol-fuelled violence Operation United had achieved marginally better results than last year but the fact is one assault is one too many are far as I’m concerned.”  This appears to be part of an unwelcome and unacceptable combination of two things: the misuse and abuse of alcohol and illicit drugs, combining with a disturbing increase of violence which we are seeing across the community.”
 
Mr O’Farrell said. “Family and friends, in backyards, beaches, and barbecues, need to try to change a culture which “seems to believe these days it’s okay to drink yourself stupid at home and then go out and cause problems.”  The NSW Police commissioner Andrew Scipione said he was saddened and annoyed. “This is a cultural issue. We’ve just got to fall out of love with the alcohol.  Unless they make the change, we won’t see any marked difference.” He said that 540 people had been arrested in NSW on one weekend including some as young as 14. “The time has come for everyone to realise we are all responsible. Police will never arrest our way out of this problem.”

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

 

TONY ABBOTT REJECTS UNITED NATIONS CALL TO BAN PARENTS FROM SMACKING CHILDREN 

A ban on parents smacking their children risks turning Australia into a nanny state, says Tony Abbott, who admits he smacked his own kids. A UN Committee on the Rights of the Child report asks Australia to abolish the right of parents to use reasonable chastisement to discipline children according to media reports. The committee would also like teachers and childcare workers to report cases of parents smacking. But the idea doesn’t meet the approval of the Prime Minister, who has three daughters. “I was probably one of those guilty parents who did occasionally chastise the children, a very gentle smack I’ve got to say,” Mr Abbott told the Seven Network.
 
“I think that we’ve got to treat our kids well, but I don’t think we ought to say there’s no place ever for smacks. “All parents know that occasionally the best thing we can give is a smack, but it should never be something that hurts them.” Mr Abbott said it was “always a danger” that these types of bans moved Australia towards a nanny state. “I think we often see political correctness taken to extremes and maybe this is another example,” he said.
 

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

 

A NIGHT OF PRAYER ACROSS AUSTRALIA

Thank you to those who organised or participated in prayer gatherings in Churches and homes across Australia last Saturday night to pray for our nation.  We received a total of 730 requests for the prayer points offered to those who were wanting to pray.  This would indicate that many thousands of people responded to the call to pray for our country on the eve of our national day. What made it all the more amazing was the level of involvement achieved with just two weeks’ notice, an outstanding response at a difficult time of the year to organise events. It highlighted the level of support there is in seeking God’s intervention in the affairs of our nation.  

Source: Australian Prayer Network