CategoryGovernment

It’s time. Our intransigence on Newstart shames us

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How would you fare if you had to live on Newstart (the dole)? I ran the Centrelink income calculator and discovered that if Sandy & I were unable to find work we would be eligible for $630.00 per week. That’s made up of the Newstart allowance, Family Tax Benefit (we have two children living at home with us), and an energy supplement. Could our family live on that? At first glance I...

Why I Won’t Vote my Values

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A repost of an article published in June 2016. The day of the 2010 Federal Election I cast my vote then took my eight year old son to his soccer match. Lachlan’s team was made up of kids from the Christian school he attended, which meant the majority of the parents at his game that day were evangelical Christians. When conversation turned to the election I commented that I had voted for the...

That lump of coal stunt looks even more lame now

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Last year Scott Morrison, then the Treasurer, carried a lump of coal into Parliament during Question Time, where he brandished it about, saying “This is coal. Don’t be scared. It won’t hurt you…It’s coal that has ensured Australia has for over one hundred years enjoyed an energy advantage that has delivered prosperity”. He went on to describe the Opposition as...

Protecting the right to discriminate. What should the marriage equality legislation do?

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The nation has voted for the recognition of same-sex marriage, and the challenge in the coming days is to legislate it. Many Christians are calling for a raft of provisions that protect their right to discriminate. The principle that it is unlawful to discriminate against somebody on the grounds of their sexuality is already part of Australian law. The Sex Discrimination Act was modified in 2013...

Why Parliament & Not a Plebiscite Should Resolve the Question of Same-Sex Marriage

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The modern world has been distinguished by what David Bentley Hart calls a “tilt to freedom.” Beginning with the demand that kings be subject to the law, there has been a steady process of enlarging people’s freedoms and a consequent diminishing of the coercive power of the State and of one human over another. The fundamental principle underlying this is the equality of human...

Has Malcolm got his Mojo back?

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The Federal government released its 2017/18 budget last night. On first glance it represents a radical departure from the infamous “lifters and leaners” budget  delivered by the Coalition just a few years ago. As a commentator in one of our broadsheet newspapers noted, this is much more the sort of budget we expected from a Malcolm Turnbull prime ministership. The underlying narrative...

Life Skills for an Age of Populist Rage

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Populism is everywhere at the minute. It’s particularly pronounced in the rise of Trumpism and Hansonism, but is found on the left, the right and the centre whenever people seek to win over an audience with arguments that confirm the fears, biases and prejudices of that audience but fail to take account of the breadth and complexity of  the issue being addressed. And although I try my...

Same-sex marriage and religious freedom.

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In an article published on the Moore College website Tony Payne argues that this election is different from any other in that the legalisation of same-sex marriage will threaten the freedom of Christians to proclaim the gospel. He does so with some humility, recognising that he may well be overstating the threat. I think he most surely is. As I understand it, there are two sets of laws under...

Will company tax cuts benefit us?

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On Q&A last Monday night assistant treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer tried to explain to a man on a very low income why it was better for the government to spend $50 billion providing tax cuts to companies than it was to provide tax cuts to low income earners. The argument essentially boiled down to this: lower tax rates will leave companies with more money to invest employing people. Or as a...

When the House fell silent. Question time, political theatre and the rights of vulnerable children

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Question time in the Australian Parliament is political theatre at its best. The chamber is packed as each side tries to land a telling blow upon its opponent. Politicians jeer across the aisle; the Speaker tries to maintain a semblance of order; government members use questions as an excuse to pummel the opposition, frequently with scant regard for answering the question asked; opposition...

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