Election 2013  - Attitudes towards Australian Muslims

By: MuslimVillage

Source: MuslimVillage.com

MuslimVillage.com has put together an Australian Muslim Voters Guide 2013 to help you decide who should get your vote in this weekend’s Federal Election.

We have analysed the three major parties policies, Labor, Liberal/National and the Greens, to present an explanation of not only the issues that will effect all Australians – see here: Australian Federal Election 2013 – Major Party Positions – but regardless of race or religion, what we believe are the key issues facing Australian Muslims.

Our analysis has shown that Australian Muslim voters could play a major role in deciding the outcome in up to 5 seats in the election. As the table below shows, Muslims are significant majorities in a number of seats that will help decide who wins the election. It is thus extremely important that you make your vote count.

This is especially critical for the Senate vote, where according to many election experts, there is a good possibility that Pauline Hanson could grab a seat in NSW with only 2% of the primary vote due to preference deals with other micro parties. If there is a hung senate, she may be one of a few from minor parties – mainly right wing – that hold the balance of power.

After examining all the issues specific to Australian Muslim interests, we believe it will not be in the Australian Muslim communities best interests to see a Tony Abbott lead Liberal/National government voted in. In fact, we believe that the incoming Liberal Government may end up being be one of the most right wing governments Australia has ever seen.

This may seem like a dramatic statement, but one only has to examine the many Islamophobic statements on sharia, halal, burqas, jihad, etc from senior Liberal politicians over the last few years to come to this conclusion – see Cory Bernadi, Sophie Mirabella, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Kevin Andrews, Bronwyn Bishop, Luke Simpkins, Scott Morrison, Fiona Scott, Ray King and of course the leader Tony Abbott. We have seen many utterances even over the last few weeks of the election campaign to determine that life for an Australian Muslim is not going to be an easy ride under a Liberal government.

On the flip side, does a Kevin Rudd lead Labor deserve another 3 years? After all the infighting and self indulgence over the last 6 years, for many the answer will be no. This despite the many social initiatives and reforms in education, disability and health care that they have proposed and introduced.

In addition, as a Australian Muslim, should we be voting for a Labor party that advocates for same sex marriage? The argument from some is that we live in a secular society that already socially recognises such practices regardless of the law and we need to look at the bigger picture of other issues that directly effect us. But each person voting for Labor – or the Greens – will be indirectly supporting allowing homosexuals to marry. This will play very heavily on many Australian Muslims minds.

So who should you vote for?

For starters, read all the information we have provided to help you decide. We also very highly recommend you use the Vote Compass website. It is an online tool developed by a non-profit group of political scientists and hosted by the ABC that has had an amazing 1.2million users in the last few weeks. You answer a short series of questions to discover which political party best represents your views. The results may surprise you.  Here is the link : http://australia.votecompass.com/home

Another good way to decide who to vote for is to determine which local candidate in your area has been or will better serve your local community needs, and regardless of political affiliation, give them your vote.

Political Commentary by Ahmed Kilani, Editor-in-chief, MuslimVillage.com

Here is some information to help you decide who should get your valuable vote:

Australian Muslim Population - Federal Seats - 2013

This table ranks Federal Seats in Australia with the highest percentage of Muslim residents. The margin figure is the swing required for the seat to change hands. It clearly shows that the Australian Muslim vote can play a major role in deciding the outcome of a number of seats, especially in Western Sydney.

Australian Muslim Voters Guide 2013

DOWNLOAD the PDF here: https://muslimvillage.com/Aust-Fed-Elec-2013-Muslim-Voting-Guide.pdf

Aust Muslim Voters Guide 2013 - 1

Aust Muslim Voters Guide 2013 - 2

Aust Muslim Voters Guide 2013 - 3

Aust Muslim Voters Guide 2013 - 4

Aust Muslim Voters Guide 2013 - 5

VIDEO: Parties pitch for Muslim vote

Both major parties have made a pitch for the Muslim vote during the 2013 federal election campaign. Vesna Nazor from SBS TV reports.

Australian Federal Election 2013 – Major Party Positions

DOWNLOAD the PDF here: https://muslimvillage.com/Aust-Fed-Elec-2013-Party-Comparisons.pdf

Australian Federal Election 2013 - Major Party Positions - 1

Australian Federal Election 2013 - Major Party Positions - 2

Australian Federal Election 2013 - Major Party Positions - 3

 

Australian Federal Election 2013 - Major Party Positions - 4

 

Australian Federal Election 2013 - Major Party Positions - 5

SEE ALSO

Australian Christian Lobby – Compare Aust Political Parties: sharia + religion + morals + social justice

The Australian Christian Lobby has produced an online guide that presents the political positions of some of the political parties standing for election in today’s Australian Federal election on issues of morality and justice.

There are many important issues covered that are also relevant to Australian Muslims – such as sharia law, freedom of religion and human rights, sexualisation of children, family and marriage.

The Australian Christian Lobby’s Australia Votes  can be found here: www.australiavotes.org.au/policies 

 

Sharia law

Will your party oppose any attempt to adopt Sharia Law in Australian jurisdictions?

Liberal Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Liberal Democratic Party]
Yes.


Liberal National Coalition [View responses to all questions from the Liberal National Coalition]

  • The Coalition makes it very clear that we reject any introduction of Sharia Law into Australia.

Australian Labor Party
Australian Labor Party [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party]

  • There is no place for sharia law in Australian society and the Rudd Labor Government strongly rejects any proposal for its introduction.
  • The Rudd Labor is committed to protecting the right of all people to practise their religion without intimidation or harassment, as long as those practices are within the framework of Australian law.
  • We are all blessed to live in a stable democracy underpinned by the rule of law. As our citizenship pledge makes clear, coming to Australia means obeying Australian laws and upholding Australian values.

Christian Democratic Party Christian Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Christian Democratic Party]

  • We have always and will continue to oppose all aspects of Sharia law in Australian jurisdictions.
  • We support a single legal system for Australia

Australian Christians
Australian Christians [View responses to all questions from the Australian Christians]

  •  YES

 

Rise Up Australia Party [View responses to all questions from the Rise Up Australia Party]

  • Yes
RUAP will not accept Sharia law under any circumstances

Family First [View responses to all questions from the Family First]
Yes, Family First opposes any attempt to adopt Sharia Law in Australian jurisdictions.


Democratic Labour Party of Australia [View responses to all questions from the Democratic Labour Party of Australia]
Migrants are welcome to Australia but they ought to respect the Australian rule of law. Sharia Law has no place in Australian jurisdictions.

Freedom of religion

Religious freedom is a human right protected by international law.

Will your party ensure that individuals, churches and religious organisations maintain the freedom to operate in accordance with their ethos and beliefs, including in the employment of staff and the provision of services?

Australian Christians [View responses to all questions from the Australian Christians]

  •  YES

Christian Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Christian Democratic Party]

  • We support freedom of religion as a Party, we also see that some use a religious platform to incite violence and that will not be tolerated.
  • The right to express ones religious faith in a public way will be protected by our party as well as the right to enter into debates concerning the religious view held by others that do not lead to inciting to violence against any person or object.

Rise Up Australia Party [View responses to all questions from the Rise Up Australia Party]

  • Yes
  • Yes
RUAP believes in the protection of religious freedoms; this means that no religion or religious practices are to be forced on another person, and that faith-based schools have the right to employ persons with values consistent with their faith-basis; we interpret the phrase “separation of church and state” in the sense in which the originator of that phrase, US President Jefferson, used it:- namely that the state shall not favour any particular church. He did not intend that churches and Christian values should not influence the formulation of governmental policies and laws, because these are never conceived in a moral vacuum, being always based on some person’s system of values;

Family First [View responses to all questions from the Family First]

  • Yes, Family First will seek to maintain freedom for individuals, churches and religious organisations to operate in accordance with their ethos and beliefs

Moreover Family First will fight a recent decision to overhaul how church organisations borrow money from their own supporters. Churches have written to Financial Services Minister Bill Shorten to argue the plan to stop churches offering at-call deposit accounts will make it more difficult to fund works at schools and nursing homes and pay for day-to-day expenditure.

The new rules pose a serious limitation on the church’s ability to raise capital, especially in rural areas where parishes are more reliant on money from their own congregations.


Liberal Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Liberal Democratic Party]
Yes.The LDP does not support laws prohibiting discrimination by private organisations.


Australian Labor Party [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party]

  • The Rudd Labor Government supports the right of individuals, churches, and religious organisations to maintain the freedom to operate in accordance with their ethos and beliefs, including in the employment of staff and provision of services, subject to appropriate anti-discrimination laws.
  • The Rudd Labor Government considers it appropriate that Commonwealth-funded aged care providers offer their services to all vulnerable older people who require them.
  • Recent changes to the Sex Discrimination Act were strongly supported by UnitingCare Australia and Mission Australia.

Liberal National Coalition [View responses to all questions from the Liberal National Coalition]

  • The Coalition is committed to protecting the right of all people to practise their religion without intimidation or harassment, as long as those practices are within the framework of Australian law.
  • The Coalition does not propose that the definition of ‘discrimination’ in section 3 of the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 be altered.
  • The Coalition respects the rights of religious organisations to uphold their own beliefs in their employment practices.

Democratic Labour Party of Australia [View responses to all questions from the Democratic Labour Party of Australia]
The DLP is deeply committed to protecting religious freedom and the right of individuals, churches and religious organisations to operate in accordance with their ethos and beliefs including the employment of staff and the provision of services.

Sexualisation of Children – Advertising Classification

Australians are increasingly bombarded with sexualised images in outdoor advertising and billboards. These are degrading and are in full view of children on public roads and bus shelters.

Will your party better protect children by mandating a G rating for outdoor advertising?

Rise Up Australia Party [View responses to all questions from the Rise Up Australia Party]

  • Yes
We will support mandating both a G rating for outdoor advertising, as well as for TV advertising during the day and early evenings.

Australian Labor Party [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party]

  • Outdoor advertising is not currently covered by the National Classification Scheme and is instead regulated through advertising standards.
  • Federal Labor commissioned the Australian law reform commission to run a comprehensive review of the National Classification Scheme, which recommended against extending the National Classification Scheme to outdoor advertising.
  • We are currently consulting with State and Territory Governments about the review recommendations.

Australian Christians [View responses to all questions from the Australian Christians]

  •  YES

Christian Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Christian Democratic Party]
We have always maintained a G rating for all outdoor advertising and we will continue to demand it.


Liberal National Coalition [View responses to all questions from the Liberal National Coalition]

  • The Coalition supported the recommendations of the 2011 House of Representatives Social Policy and Legal Affairs Committee Inquiry into regulation of outdoor advertising, which concluded that industry self-regulation of advertising standards needs to include a specific code of practice for outdoor advertising.
  • If elected, we will continue to work with stakeholders and industry to respond to the concerns that were raised during the Inquiry, which are primarily a matter for state and local governments.

Liberal Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Liberal Democratic Party]

  •  The LDP supports free speech and would not support such censorship of advertising.

Democratic Labour Party of Australia [View responses to all questions from the Democratic Labour Party of Australia]
The DLP is committed to protecting children. We support a G rating for outdoor advertising.


Family First [View responses to all questions from the Family First]
Yes, Family First supports the mandating of a G rating for outdoor advertising

Sexualisation of Children – Internet safety

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a plan requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to automatically filter pornographic websites unless adults opt-in to receive it.

Will your party protect children by supporting the blocking of all pornography at ISP level using an opt-in system for adults, such as that proposed in the UK?

Rise Up Australia Party [View responses to all questions from the Rise Up Australia Party]

  •  Yes
We will support the blocking of all pornography at ISP level using an opt in system for adults such as proposed in the UK

Australian Labor Party [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party]

  • The Rudd Labor Government takes the online safety of all Australians very seriously and believes there is some content that has no place in a civil society. We remain committed to ensuring that access to child abuse material is restricted.
  • Blocking the INTERPOL ‘Worst of’ list of child abuse material achieves that objective and we have implemented this policy by using existing legislative powers. We know from the experience of the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) already blocking the INTERPOL list that this is a highly successful strategy.
  • With several ISPs participating, over 90% of Australian internet users are covered, and this coverage will increase further as the Australian Federal Police (AFP) works with ISPs and the Internet Industry Association (IIA).

Australian Christians [View responses to all questions from the Australian Christians]

  •  YES

Christian Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Christian Democratic Party]
We will support blocking of all pornography at ISP level but will need to more closely examine the opt-in system for adults,  that is proposed. Our concern is how the opt-in is managed as this could be easily bypassed if not correctly managed.


Liberal National Coalition [View responses to all questions from the Liberal National Coalition]

  • The Coalition understands that while the internet delivers profound benefits, it also presents potential dangers. Facebook, networking games, smart phones and iPads are all part of the typical daily life for most of today’s children.
  • As parents and teachers have been responding to the challenges of children and teenagers participating on social networking sites, the current government has been pre-occupied with its internet filter, which it has since abandoned.
  • The Coalition will focus on providing greater support for teachers and parents in their work in guiding young children into adulthood, including helping them to become responsible digital citizens. We do not seek to limit the existing free expression or interaction of adults, rather we will seek to protect children from dangerous material and harmful behaviour that can damage them.

The Coalition did not implement an internet filter when we were last in government because it was not workable or effective, and it offered parents a false sense of security.

The Coalition has continued to closely monitor and assess whether a mandatory ISP filter could technically offer real protection while not interfering with the internet experience of law-abiding adults. These conditions have not yet been met to our satisfaction.

A Coalition Government will not introduce a mandatory ISP filter but will instead focus on providing greater support for teachers and parents in their work to protect children online.

We support sensible and workable measures to protect them from illegal or inappropriate content. The Coalition believes the best internet filter a child can have is a parent who is engaged in what their children see and do on the internet. We will continue to work with and support parents to ensure the online safety of our children.


Liberal Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Liberal Democratic Party]

  • The LDP supports free speech and would only support blocking of pornography at ISP level if it was entirely voluntary and there was no prospect of it becoming obligatory.

Democratic Labour Party of Australia [View responses to all questions from the Democratic Labour Party of Australia]
The DLP is committed to protecting all people, and so, would support this policy.


Family First [View responses to all questions from the Family First]

  • Family First was one of the first groups to begin the campaign for tighter regulation of RC material.
  • We believe that parents need the option of filtering online content from their children that is objectionable, pornographic, or dangerous.
  • Family First recognises that filtering of content is one element in a range of tools needed to protect children.

Human Rights – Charter of rights

Christians are deeply concerned for human rights and have led international campaigns to end slavery, racism and extreme poverty. Charters of rights, however, have led to the transfer of power from elected politicians to unelected judges.

Will your party rule out supporting a charter of rights or any similar instrument?

Liberal Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Liberal Democratic Party]
Yes.


Liberal National Coalition [View responses to all questions from the Liberal National Coalition]

  • The Coalition is opposed to the enactment of a federal Human Rights Act but has supported in its place a new Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights to provide greater scrutiny of legislation from a human rights perspective.

Australian Labor Party [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party]

  • The Rudd Labor Government considers that human rights should be promoted and protected in a way that unites, rather than divides, the community.
  • On this basis, Federal Labor announced Australia’s Human Rights Framework in April 2010, following an extensive National Human Rights consultation.
  • The Human Rights Framework implements a number of practical measures to protect and promote human rights including increased parliamentary scrutiny of legislation for compatibility with international human rights obligations, increased human rights education in the public sector and the general community, and the development of a National Human Rights Action plan.

Christian Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Christian Democratic Party]
We have carefully examined many charters of rights and the results of having them and we have found that rather than granting rights they actually do the reverse by limiting rights and are most unhelpful. So we will oppose any charter or bill of rights.


Australian Christians [View responses to all questions from the Australian Christians]

  •  YES

Rise Up Australia Party [View responses to all questions from the Rise Up Australia Party]

  • No
RUAP believes in Freedom of Speech and will discuss every connotation of a Charter of Rights.  It is however highly unlikely that we would support a charter of rights or any similar instrument.

Family First [View responses to all questions from the Family First]
Yes, Family First opposes an Australian charter of rights or any similar instrument


Democratic Labour Party of Australia [View responses to all questions from the Democratic Labour Party of Australia]
The DLP is opposed to a charter of rights; a bill of rights or any other similar instrument.

Religious persecution

Many vulnerable people around the world are persecuted for their religious faith, often because of laws that forbid practice of some religions.

How will your party encourage the repeal of apostasy laws in countries such as Pakistan, so that people can be free to practice their faith without fear?

How will your party support vulnerable religious minorities such as Christians in Syria or Hindus in Bangladesh?

Family First [View responses to all questions from the Family First]

  • Family First believes that Australia needs to be more active in highlighting abuse and the targeting of minority religions in foreign countries.
  • Laws prohibiting religious conversion run contrary to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and should be dealt with by international bodies with Australian support.

Australian Christians [View responses to all questions from the Australian Christians]


Rise Up Australia Party [View responses to all questions from the Rise Up Australia Party]

  • By lobbying UN
  • Calling for sanctions
RUAP will do everything possible to stop religious persecution on minority religious groups in any country by lobbying such governments through the UN and all other avenues available. Further by calling on sanctions to be imposed on those nations.
This will be in keeping with the “Freedom from Religious Persecution Act 2008 in the USA” which was mostly designed by RUAP President Daniel Nalliah, and passed in the US Congress.

Democratic Labour Party of Australia [View responses to all questions from the Democratic Labour Party of Australia]
The DLP believes that our Government should put more diplomatic pressure on countries which have apostasy laws to ensure all people can practise their faith without fear of persecution or oppression. We will also continue to ensure that we remain vocal about their plight in order to raise awareness and grassroots pressure for governments to change their ways.The DLP will encourage the government to work with international NGOs and foreign governments to ensure that vulnerable religious minorities in all countries are represented and protected.


Christian Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Christian Democratic Party]
We will continually raise concerns, as has been happening in the NSW upper house for many years by our party members, for all vulnerable religious minorities no matter where they are; whether they be Coptics in Egypt, Christians in Syria, or Hindus in Bangladesh. We would seek to connect with such communities and ascertain the best action for us to take in consultation with the local community.


Australian Labor Party [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party]

  • Federal Labor champions a set of values and principles as part of our foreign policy including the rule of law, human rights, and open and accountable government. We commit to these values and principles as a good international citizen – on both moral and legal grounds.
  • The promotion of human rights, including the freedom from religious persecution, is critical to democracy and are indelibly linked to peace and stability.
  • Federal Labor will continue to champion these values internationally because they can have positive gains for economic growth and development.

Liberal National Coalition [View responses to all questions from the Liberal National Coalition]

  • The Coalition is committed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which includes freedom from persecution due to religious beliefs. A Coalition Government would work on a bilateral basis and through multilateral channels such as the United Nations to advocate on behalf of those around the world who suffer persecution as a result oftheir religion. A Coalition Government would also use these channels to advocate for the repeal of apostasy laws in Pakistan and other countries.

Liberal Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Liberal Democratic Party]

  • The LDP strongly supports freedom of religion and opposes religious persecution.
  • We have no ideas as to how the Australian government might influence laws in countries such as Pakistan, Syria or Bangladesh. We doubt whether it can have any influence.

Family – Marriage

Marriage is defined in the Marriage Act as the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life. Both houses of federal parliament overwhelmingly rejected a bill to redefine marriage in September 2012.

What will your party do to protect the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman?

Australian Labor Party [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party]

  • The Rudd Labor Government believes that all people are entitled to respect, dignity and the opportunity to participate fully in society regardless of their sexuality.
  • When the issue of same sex marriage has previously been considered by Parliament, Federal Labor has allowed each MP and Senator a conscience vote according to their own personal views.
  • This reflects the fact that people of good will can hold different positions on this fundamental matter.

Liberal Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Liberal Democratic Party]
The LDP regards marriage as a private matter in which the government should have no role, beyond maintaining a register. It certainly should not decide who may or may not get married.

The LDP would therefore remove all barriers to marriage between adults of any kind, while allowing churches and celebrants to discriminate as to who they wish to marry.

Family First [View responses to all questions from the Family First]

  • Marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman. Family First is committed to promoting policies that support marriage and hold families together.
  • Family First will oppose any legislation it considers will harm or diminish the institution of marriage.

Liberal National Coalition [View responses to all questions from the Liberal National Coalition]

  • The Coalition policy supports the current definition of marriage contained in the Marriage Act.
  • Any change to the policy would be a matter for the Party Room in the future, as is the case with all policies.
  • Tony Abbott supports the existing definition of marriage.

Democratic Labour Party of Australia [View responses to all questions from the Democratic Labour Party of Australia]
DLP Senator John Madigan has already indicated to the Senate that he will be calling for a referendum to amend the Australian Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman as currently in the Marriage Act. This is party policy.


Christian Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Christian Democratic Party]

  • Our Party supports marriage as being between 1 man and 1 woman in a union for life.
  • We would repeal and/or oppose any bill that would seek to change that position.

Australian Christians [View responses to all questions from the Australian Christians]

  • Absolutely everything within its power including providing education and information about the dangers or re-defining marriage and deliberately depriving a child the opportunity of both a mum and a dad

Rise Up Australia Party [View responses to all questions from the Rise Up Australia Party]

  • Marriage is between a man and a woman only
RUAP believes in the protection of the traditional family unit, comprising man, woman and children; to promote marriage (as defined in the Marriage Act, 2004**) as an institution that provides the best nurturing environment for children and that has substantial economic benefits for society. While recognizing that adults are free to pursue their own sexuality in private, we reject and resist the promotion of homosexuality as a normal practice in schools and in public. We affirm the basic human right for a child to have both a male and a female as its parents (and to know who they are) in the best interests of the child. We oppose same-sex marriage, bigamy, polygamy and Centrelink funding of such and similar practices.

Family – Children

Research shows that the breakdown of the relationship between a child’s biological parents is a major contributing factor to adverse outcomes for children, including abuse and poverty.

Given that record numbers of Australian children are living in out of home care, what will your party do to encourage marriage and resilience in couple relationships?

Australian Labor Party [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party]

  • Federal Labor is providing significant investments to support families and their children.
  • This includes a $1.5 billion Family Support Program which provides preventative and early intervention family support, focusing on family relationships, marriage education, couple counselling, parenting and family law services.
  • More than 800,000 families across Australia will benefit from Federal Labor’s continued funding for this program.

Liberal Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Liberal Democratic Party]
A substantial proportion of the breakdown of relationships is attributable to welfare dependence and lack of personal responsibility.The LDP would modify the welfare system to substantially increase personal responsibility.


Family First [View responses to all questions from the Family First]

  • We encourage the development of family support programs that seek to assist vulnerable families in their caring responsibilities.
  • We promote relationship counselling to ensure that couples and their children have every opportunity to work through their problems and cement a strong foundation for the future.
  • We support the establishment of family mediation services aimed at the constructive resolution of family problems particularly when in relates to disputes over children. Promoting a “mend it –don’t end it” approach.

Liberal National Coalition [View responses to all questions from the Liberal National Coalition]

  • The Coalition understands the importance of fostering and encouraging stable, healthy relationships. That is why the Coalition, if elected, will place a greater emphasis on prevention and early intervention as a means of ameliorating the negative consequences of poverty, family dysfunction and social exclusion.
  • The Coalition will also provide a $200 voucher to all couples when they register their intention to marry, which will be redeemable on an approved marriage education, counselling or parenting skills service. Couples can use this voucher before or after their wedding to choose the service that best suits their needs, be it one which assists in developing communication skills, conflict resolution, financial management, parenting skills, or for counselling services if problems arise in a marriage.

Each year, more than 100,000 Australians wed. They do so in the hope that their marriage will be happy and successful. Regrettably, some of these marriages dissolve. When they do the costs are enormous, both financially and emotionally.

Two generations ago, the Coalition introduced support for marriage education and counselling, and has expanded this support when in government to include parenting skills programmes.

These services have been shown to be beneficial in identifying and resolving marital problems, providing advice and equipping couples who are contemplating a marriage with important skills to help develop and maintain strong and healthy relationships.

As part ofthe Coalition’s approach to prevention and early intervention, we believe all couples contemplating a marriage should have the means and opportunity to access these important services.


Democratic Labour Party of Australia [View responses to all questions from the Democratic Labour Party of Australia]
The DLP has policies supporting marriage in all its stages including government funding of pre-marriage education. The high number of divorces in our country could be reduced if couples were given in depth education about married life before entering into this lifelong commitment. So many marriages break down simply because the two people involved were unaware of the challenges that await them.


Christian Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Christian Democratic Party]
We believe that Australia has suffered from generations of dysfunctional families and so we will create a program for training people so that they will be equipped in how to create a strong family and a support network to produce better outcomes. We would encourage pre marriage family training.


Australian Christians [View responses to all questions from the Australian Christians]


Rise Up Australia Party [View responses to all questions from the Rise Up Australia Party]

  • Counsel adults
  • Re-introduce discipline
  • Equal opportunities for children
This is a problem that has many aspects.  RUAP will start by introducing discipline into our children, both at home and at school. We will see that all children have equal opportunities while at school, and support them in staying at home. Well-disciplined children, grow into well-disciplined adults, and this in turn helps to keep the family together. We will encourage adults to seek counselling before seeking divorce.

Family – Parenting

Paid Parental Leave schemes allow a parent to take the necessary time to care for new children while retaining a place in the work force. However they are inequitable to a parent who chooses to care for children at home.

What will your party do to redress this inequity?

Australian Labor Party [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party]

  • Federal Labor has delivered Australia’s first national Paid Parental Leave scheme. This has already benefited more than 300,000 families and for many low paid, casual and part time workers, is the first time they have had this support.
  • Families who are not eligible for Paid Parental Leave may be able to access the Baby Bonus (until March 2014) or a new increase to FTB Part A payments called the ‘newborn supplement’.
  • Family Tax Benefit Part B is also available for families where one parent is not in paid employment. These payments are not available for families who get paid parental leave.

Liberal Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Liberal Democratic Party]
The LDP does not believe in paid parental leave. Having children is a personal choice and it is immoral to ask others to pay.


Family First [View responses to all questions from the Family First]

  • Family First demands equal treatment for all mothers. Whether you’re in the paid workforce or not should not matter. Once the baby arrives all mothers are doing the same job – staying at home and looking after their new-born babies.
  • By calling paid parental leave a ‘workplace entitlement’, what the major parties are basically saying is ‘women who have chosen to stay at home are not working, they are unemployed’. Family First rejects that. These mothers are not ‘unemployed’, they are professional mothers and carers. They are career mothers.
  • To achieve good social and economic policy, we must first emphasize the equity of ensuring all new mothers are treated the same. Once that is established, we can move onto the next important challenge – responsible fiscal policy ie ‘how much to give them’.

Liberal National Coalition [View responses to all questions from the Liberal National Coalition]

  • The Coalition recognises the important contribution that parents who choose to care for their children at home make to their families and to our community. We will always be a strong advocate for stay-at-home parents.
  • During the term of the Howard Government, the Coalition introduced a number of important measures to provide greater support to families with parents who choose to care for their children at home, including the Family Tax Benefit Part B payment and the Baby Bonus. These reforms ushered in a new and generous era of family assistance in Australia which continues to benefit families today, and we are proud of our achievements in this area.

Democratic Labour Party of Australia [View responses to all questions from the Democratic Labour Party of Australia]
The DLP believes that all families should be treated equitably. That child care payments should be available to mothers caring for their children at home. The Baby Bonus of $5000 should be available upon the birth of a child to mothers who are not in paid employment and are not eligible for Paid Parental Leave.


Christian Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Christian Democratic Party]
We are sympathetic to the stay at home parent and we believe that income splitting between married couples would assist in this regard and we would seek other measures subject to budget constraints.


Australian Christians [View responses to all questions from the Australian Christians]

  • Both working and stay at home mothers deserve access to the same financial assistance to bring up their children

Rise Up Australia Party [View responses to all questions from the Rise Up Australia Party]

  • Equity for all
RUAP believes that any allowances should be equitable for all.  We would join any committee that is looking into the issue.

 

Education – The National curriculum

It is important that school children have a balanced understanding of Australian history. However, the new National Curriculum all but ignores the transformative impact of Christianity on Western Civilisation.

How will your party correct this imbalance?

The Bible is the most printed and translated literary work in history. What will your party do to give the Bible adequate attention in the national curriculum?

Rise Up Australia Party [View responses to all questions from the Rise Up Australia Party]

  • Reintroduce balanced curriculum
  • Support School Chaplains
RUAP wishes to ensure that all school children are taught a curriculum that includes a balanced view of history, that includes the history of Western civilization (Greek, Roman and European), Aboriginal history, Magna Carta, Westminster democracy and the Judeo-Christian heritage that has come to us through, for example, the words of Henry Parkes, founding father, who said, “We are pre-eminently a Christian nation, as our laws, our whole system of jurisprudence, our constitution … are based upon and interwoven with our Christian beliefs”; We want our children to understand the heritage of Australia, our ancestors, our people, our law, legal system and the price that has been paid for our freedom (wars and conflicts). We oppose the teaching of Islam in schools as it promotes violence, but acknowledge the right for all languages, cultures and religions to be taught provided they are tolerant of other peoples and religions.

Liberal National Coalition [View responses to all questions from the Liberal National Coalition]

  • Since the first draft of the national curriculum, the Coalition has been calling for it to give appropriate weight to our Western and Judaeo-Christian heritage as a nation. It has improved since the first draft, but the Coalition does not view the curriculum as a static document and we will continue to review it if elected.

Family First [View responses to all questions from the Family First]

  • It is appropriate that children in both public and private schools learn the historical background and story of the Bible.
  • It is impossible to understand the history of our Western civilisation without a deep appreciation for the teachings of Christianity. For this reason, Family First supports the teaching of our Christian heritage in our schools.

At Family First we are committed to choice in education. We believe that both public and private schools must be adequately resourced to enable the delivery of high quality education and to ensure that the rights of parents to choose is respected and supported.

Many great organisations and political movements – the abolition of slavery, the civil rights movement, public education started in churches. Motivated by a sense of concern for others, people of goodwill established schools, hospitals, welfare agencies and many other lasting endeavours.

Family First began the same way. And as you no longer have to be a member of a particular denomination to be admitted to these hospitals, schools or retirement villages, so it is with Family First. And whilst our Christian heritage is something we are both proud of and grateful for, Family First today is independent of any church or denomination.

In the above schools, hospitals and aged care examples, the focus is on the best medicine, the best education, the best aged care. Family First works on the same principles.


Australian Christians [View responses to all questions from the Australian Christians]


Democratic Labour Party of Australia [View responses to all questions from the Democratic Labour Party of Australia]
The DLP does not support a National Curriculum. The problem considered by this question has existed in Australian schools for many years, a National Curriculum will further narrow the scope of teachers in the classroom. There has been a move away from teaching History and Literature (certainly, older classical texts) and this has reduced the cultural literacy of young people. For some years now universities have offered courses to assist students understand Biblical concepts which they might encounter in literature studies which indicates the seriousness of the problem.The National Curriculum could include compulsory studies in Western Civilization. However, anything mandated by a National Curriculum is also circumscribed by it.The Bible is a foundational text in Western Civilization and all students should be familiar with it.


Australian Labor Party [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party]

  • The implementation of the Australian Curriculum is an historic education reform for Australia. The Australian Curriculum has been developed by the Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority (ACARA) following broad consultation with teachers, principals, professional teaching associations, parents as well as the broader community through a range of public consultation sessions.
  • For the first time, students across Australia will be studying the same curriculum in English, maths, science, history, geography and the Arts. With work well underway on developing the curriculum for Chinese, Italian, health and physical education, civics and citizenship, technologies and economics and business.
  • The Australian Curriculum content currently being implemented throughout Australian schools has been endorsed by every State and Territory.

Liberal Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Liberal Democratic Party]

  • The LDP agrees the positive influence of Christianity on society is not always explained adequately in schools.
  • However, the LDP does not support a National Curriculum. It believes schools should be self-governing or privately operated and free to determine their own curricula, subject to national standards and performance monitoring.
  • The role of the bible should be a matter for schools to decide.

Christian Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Christian Democratic Party]
We are very careful about imposing a national curriculum upon the States, however we need to have a consultative approach with the state education ministers/departments. We would seek to have the true history related including information of life as it was for our developing nation, emphasising the reasons decisions were made. We would like history to be taught in a way that we can take people back to the time and “experience” life as it was.

Prayer in parliament

Australia’s western, liberal democracy owes much to its Christian heritage.

Will your party commit to continue opening parliament each day exclusively with the Lord’s Prayer?

Australian Christians [View responses to all questions from the Australian Christians]

  •  YES

Christian Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Christian Democratic Party]
Our Party fully supports the parliament opening with exclusively praying the Lord’s Prayer every day.


Rise Up Australia Party [View responses to all questions from the Rise Up Australia Party]

  • Yes
RUAP will commit to opening parliament each day exclusively with the Lord’s Prayer, and will introduce prayer sessions for any parliamentary staff who wish to attend.

Family First [View responses to all questions from the Family First]
Yes, Family First continues to support opening parliament each day with the Lord’s Prayer.


Liberal Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Liberal Democratic Party]

  • No
  • The LDP believes in the separation of church and state.
  • Prayer is a private matter. There is no justification for making prayers in parliament obligatory.
The government should exist to protect the rights of its citizens, irrespective of their race or religion. There should be an absolute separation of church and state.

Australian Labor Party [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party]

  • The Rudd Labor Government has no intention of changing the current practice whereby Parliament opens with the Lord’s Prayer.

Liberal National Coalition [View responses to all questions from the Liberal National Coalition]

  • The Coalition remains firmly committed to Parliament opening each day with the lord’s Prayer.
  • The Coalition recognises the significant influence that Judaeo-Christian principles have had on the character and ethos of Australian society.
  • The Coalition believes the Australian Parliament should represent the society it seeks to serve, and that offering the lord’s Prayer each day prior to its commencement is an appropriate way to do so.

Democratic Labour Party of Australia [View responses to all questions from the Democratic Labour Party of Australia]
The DLP is committed to opening parliament each day exclusively with the Lord’s Prayer.

Unemployment

Youth unemployment has remained at around 25 percent since 2009. How will your party create more meaningful jobs for young people?

Will your party support the recommended $50 a week increase to Newstart?

Rise Up Australia Party [View responses to all questions from the Rise Up Australia Party]

  • Support establishment of TAFES
  • Encourage more apprentices
RUAP is committed to having jobs available for all Australians who wish to work. To this end we will support the establishment of new Technical Colleges, in partnership with industry.  These TAFES will provide high quality training for apprentices, as well as alleviating the skills shortage in traditional trades. They will also allow students the opportunity to complete their high school education while doing their apprenticeship. We will look at phasing out government funding for privately provided VET where TAFES can provide the same education and training.
RUAP believes that it is wrong to make pre-election promises to increase any allowances while we have a spiralling debt.  We will however look at the issue when elected.

Liberal National Coalition [View responses to all questions from the Liberal National Coalition]

  • The Coalition believes the best form of welfare is a job. If elected, we will take seriously the principle of mutual obligation that has been severely compromised by Labor. The Coalition is determined to have a social security system which encourages people to work, not stay on welfare.
  • The Coalition will encourage unemployed young people to get back into the workforce, particularly in those areas where unskilled jobs are readily available. A Coalition Government will generate one million new jobs over the next five years and two million new jobs over the next decade as we unleash Australia’s real economic potential, modernise our businesses and industries as well as transform to a stronger and more prosperous economy.
  • The Coalition has no plans to make changes to the Newstart Allowance. This is significant because the Coalition will repeal the carbon tax while leaving fortnightly pension and benefit increases intact. This means that Newstart recipients will receive a boost to their standard of living because they will keep compensation provided for the carbon tax while the tax itself is repealed. If elected, the Coalition will monitor the level of income support payments, though our first priority will be to get the Budget back under control, cut waste and start reducing debt.

Family First [View responses to all questions from the Family First]

  • Australia needs a political party which understands business and how markets work; how and why investment decisions are made; how real jobs are created; and that ‘barriers to entry’ to getting a job causes unemployment.
  • The tragedy of workplace regulation is that while it seeks to protect the interests of those who have a job it effectively keeps out those who do not. Accordingly, Family First is committed to removing the ‘barriers to entry’ to getting a job or working more hours.
  • Pricing people out of the job market denies them the opportunity to buy a house and lead a happy and prosperous life. This is not just bad for the economy it is morally wrong.

Australian Christians [View responses to all questions from the Australian Christians]
How will your party create more meaningful jobs for young people?

  • Meaningful job creation requires the stimulation of the economy. AC would support measures that achieve this without impacting adversely on the family.
  • AC believes income splitting for tax purposes could allow more women to be stay at home mums, providing more employment opportunities
Will your part support the recommended $50 a week increase to Newstart?
  • NO

Democratic Labour Party of Australia [View responses to all questions from the Democratic Labour Party of Australia]
The DLP is committed to developing Australian manufacturing and promoting research and development programs. Both these areas are ways in which youth can access meaningful employment and develop employment skills. In The hope of encouraging similar responses from other politicians and business leaders, Senator Madigan has committed his pay rise of $40,000 per year to assisting young people purchase equipment to enable them to learn employment skills.Yes. It is difficult for the unemployed to effectively continue seeking employment when living in difficult financial circumstances for long periods of time.


Australian Labor Party [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party]

  • Federal Labor has worked hard to protect jobs and support families in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis. Since coming to office Federal Labor has created more than 966,000 jobs.
  • The Rudd Labor Government is aware that youth unemployment remains a challenge. Federal Labor is acting to address youth unemployment with a record investment of over $19 billion in skills funding. In addition, under the Building Australia’s Future Workforce young people are able to double the amount they can earn before their income support payments are affected.
  • Federal Labor remains committed to ensuring Newstart Allowance recipients are supported in their endeavours to become self-reliant through employment and announced a number of budget measures in the 2013 14 Budget. Including an increase from $62 to $100 a fortnight of the Income Free Area for Newstart Allowance and other similar payments; an extension of the Pensioner Education Supplement to provide extra financial assistance to single principal carers on Newstart Allowance who choose to undertake study; and an extension of the pensioner concession card for an extra 12 weeks for parents ceasing Parenting Payment Single.

Liberal Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Liberal Democratic Party]
The LDP supports a free market in labour and would abolish the minimum wage.It is a fact of economics that the minimum wage creates unemployment. If a worker has a productivity of $6/hour but the minimum wage is $8/hour then they will never be employed.If the minimum wage was abolished then people with low productivity (generally the young and unskilled) would be able to sell their labour at the market rate and find a job. It is simply untrue that this would lead to significant wage cuts as most people are already paid more than the minimum wage.


Christian Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Christian Democratic Party]

  • There are a number of structural changes needed to make more jobs available to anyone, let alone the youth, as we are losing jobs at a rapid rate due to the loss of jobs overseas and we need to first rein in this problem with a number of structural changes.
  • The numbers of unemployed need to be more carefully compiled so as to reflect not only those on benefit but also not on benefit.
  • Job creation numbers need to also be more carefully complied so as to reflect a new position in the community and not just people changing jobs as it currently done.

Homelessness and housing affordability

Roughly 105,000 Australians are homeless on any given night. According to Anglicare, less than one percent of private rental dwellings in Sydney and the Illawarra are affordable for people on low incomes. A similar crisis of affordability exists in other cities.

How will your party tackle homelessness and housing affordability?

Australian Labor Party [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party]
Homelessness and housing affordability

  • The Rudd Labor Government is committed to reducing cost of living pressures and improving access to affordable housing for families on low and moderate incomes.
  • Since coming to office Federal Labor has invested a record $26 billion in a broad ranging and innovative affordable housing agenda. Through this investment the Australian Government has directly contributed to one in every twenty new homes built across the country.
  • Federal Labor also continues to invest in affordable housing through the $4.5 billion National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) to stimulate the supply of up to 50,000 new, more affordable rental dwellings by June 2016.

Christian Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Christian Democratic Party]
There are many causes of homelessness including lack of funds, anti-social behaviour, drug addiction, mental illness, loss of employment and family breakdown, each requiring different approaches to bring long term solutions.

  • Seek to tackle drug dependency issues through drug courts and seeking recovery.
  • Seek to tackle anti-social behaviour with a strong restorative justice program.
  • Increase Government housing stock by selling to long term renters so rental stock is continually renewed.
  • Establish training programs on debt management and family management.
  • Establishing training programs for newly unemployed people to up skill for new employment opportunities.

Liberal Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Liberal Democratic Party]

  • Tax cuts & welfare reform to increase growth and reduce poverty
  • Remove the minimum wage to solve unemployment
  • Relaxation of zoning laws to allow more property development
  • Reduction in green and red tape restricting housing development
Homelessness is caused by poverty and the high price of property. The Liberal Democrats (LDP) have comprehensive policies at addressing both of these issues.
Strict planning laws, burdensome regulations and meddling bureaucracies create a significant block on housing supply and decrease the amount of property development. The LDP supports the relaxation of planning/zoning laws to allow greater development. This will increase the supply of affordable housing.
The major cause of poverty is unemployment and the LDP is the only political party willing to do what is necessary to solve unemployment – abolish the minimum wage. It is a fact of economics that the minimum wage creates unemployment. If a worker has a productivity of $6/hour but the minimum wage is $8/hour then they will never be employed.
If the minimum wage was abolished then people with low productivity (generally the young and unskilled) would be able to sell their labour at the market rate and find a job. It is simply untrue that this would lead to significant wage cuts as most people are already paid more than the minimum wage.

Family First [View responses to all questions from the Family First]

  • For more than 60 years the average family in most western countries was able to buy its first home on one wage. The median house price was around three times the median income.  In 2013, in Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane, the median house price is now more than six times the median income and in Sydney and Perth it is nearly ten times.
  • As anyone contemplating building a new house has discovered, the actual cost of building a new house is incredibly low. It hasn’t changed much in 30 years. The price of land on which to the build the house however has skyrocketed.
  • Studies have shown a direct connection between housing costs and family formation. The obsession with urban densification by State Governments, urban planners and environmentalists has represented an all-out assault on the aspirations of most families. In simple terms, higher house prices mean fewer children.

While governments embraced the opportunity to make huge profits by stifling the release of land and then drip-feeding it out at massively inflated prices, they were also responding to a wider ideological agenda driven by a powerful planning community that sought to curb the size of our cities. ‘Urban consolidation’ or ‘Urban Densification’ became the new mantra.

What has not been discussed is the impact that huge amounts of household income going into overpriced housing is having on our economy. That household income should be going into other sectors of the economy.


Democratic Labour Party of Australia [View responses to all questions from the Democratic Labour Party of Australia]
The DLP has historically been known for standing up for the least, the lost and the last.  This certainly describes people who face homelessness.  The DLP will support a range of initiatives to tackle this issue and the issue of housing affordability.  In particular, the DLP has a plan to tackle the current problems within public housing.The DLP believes that all public housing must be owned and have title held by either Federal, State or Municipal governments to provide security of tenure, with an immediate freeze on all sales and gifting of public housing properties (aka stock transfers) to social/ community housing sector and housing associations. When compulsory acquisitions take place, the property must be replaced in the same area on a like-for-like basis.

Public housing rental rates should be capped at 25% of earnings, with the provision of 15% for people in ill health and for people with disabilities.
Public housing should be administered by appropriate government departments, not out sourced to non-government appointed and paid companies.

Liberal National Coalition [View responses to all questions from the Liberal National Coalition]

  • The Coalition recognises the shortage of housing in Australia, including its impact on people on a low income, and will address the causes of reduced housing affordability by seeking to diminish the barriers to an efficient and responsive housing market. A particular priority will be to encourage State governments to follow reasonable land release policies without hidden taxes and charges on land.
  • The Coalition will repeal the carbon tax, which will reduce new housing costs by at least $3,800.
  • The Coalition will address homelessness by tackling housing cost pressures that push families into homelessness and reforming the way government deals with homelessness service providers, streamlining services and cutting red tape.

The Coalition’s commitment to cutting red and green tape by $1 billion every year across the economy will help reduce the cost of construction, making new housing more affordable.

Restoring the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) will prevent industrial problems from causing additional costs and delays. By keeping disputes to a minimum the ABCC helped to increase productivity and lower construction costs around Australia.

The Coalition’s plan to combat homelessness focuses on actions, rather than rhetoric. We believe that the Federal Government has a role in working with the States and Territories to be more active in addressing homelessness and problems in social housing.

Following the 2007 election, Kevin Rudd promised to halve homelessness by 2020. However, under the Labor Government, the housing shortage has increased to 228,000, rents have risen by more than 30 per cent and homelessness has increased by 17 per cent.

The current government has also failed to reach its interim target of reducing homelessness by 7 per cent by 1 July 2013 as foreshadowed in a recent report from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO). Furthermore, the Government left homelessness services and homeless people in limbo for months before finally committing a last minute patch-up deal to fund the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) until July 2014. They have offered no certainty beyond that.

The Coalition is committed to combating the many complex causes of homelessness, supporting homeless Australians with real, practical assistance and preventing even more Australians from falling into homelessness.


Australian Christians [View responses to all questions from the Australian Christians]

  • Up to 40% of the cost of building a house is state & federal taxes.
  • Government should provide taxation offset to developers who provide low cost housing
  • Tax rebates could be offered to first home builders.

Rise Up Australia Party [View responses to all questions from the Rise Up Australia Party]

  • Release more residential land
  • Support Charitable Institutions
  • Make housing more affordable

Rise Up Australia Party (RUAP) will try to eliminate homelessness and deficiencies in aged-care by a variety of policies, including making low-cost housing more affordable by, inter alia, releasing more residential land, providing more jobs in rural/regional areas, and by substantially assisting the existing support agencies (such as Salvation Army etc) to provide low-cost communal housing and rehabilitation/job-training services.

Treatment of charities and not-for-profits

Churches, charities and schools help build stronger communities and provide a social safety net. Often this work saves taxpayers’ money.

Will your party support continuing the presumption of public benefit for not-for-profits and churches for tax purposes?

Australian Labor Party [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party]

  • Federal Labor is committed to supporting a strong, vibrant and diverse not-for-profit sector, and recently passed legislation to introduce a statutory definition of charity.
  • This legislation specifies that there is a presumption of public benefit for a number of charitable purposes. These purposes include advancing religion; advancing education; preventing and relieving sickness, disease or human suffering; relieving the poverty, distress or disadvantage of individuals or families; and caring for and supporting the aged or individuals with disabilities. Advancement of religion is a category of charitable purpose that churches are generally registered under.
  • Registration as a charity is a prerequisite to accessing various tax concessions, and the statutory definition will commence on 1 January 2014.

Christian Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Christian Democratic Party]
WE will continue to support the not-for-profit and the churches as being for a significant public benefit to retain eligibility to tax concessions.


Liberal Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Liberal Democratic Party]

  • The LDP supports a society that fosters individual responsibility and civic institutions in preference to government funded welfare.
The LDP advocates the withdrawal of governments from delivery of social welfare to allow the re-establishment of a viable civil society.
We do not support tax exemption for organisations that are mere political advocates (eg Greenpeace). However, we favour tax exemption for those that actually deliver welfare benefits to those who genuinely need it.

Family First [View responses to all questions from the Family First]

  • Yes. Family First supports the retention of tax concessions for church and faith-based charities.
  • Income tax, company tax, payroll tax, petrol tax, goods & services tax (GST), carbon tax, mining tax, the Medicare levy, the emergency services levy, the River Murray levy. Governments – State and Federal, tax us at every turn.
  • The capacity of politicians and public servants to spend our taxes knows no bounds. If the Australian tax system is to offer incentives to be productive, to expand activities, to shift from welfare to work, to pay tax and invest in the future then it must be simple, flat and, in the eyes of taxpayers, a fair system.

Democratic Labour Party of Australia [View responses to all questions from the Democratic Labour Party of Australia]
The DLP believes the public benefit of charitable and social work conducted by not for profit groups and churches far exceeds the underestimated economic benefits to the Australian community.The DLP supports continuing the presumption of public benefit for not-for-profits and churches for tax purposes.


Liberal National Coalition [View responses to all questions from the Liberal National Coalition]

  • The Coalition believes that Australian charities and not-for-profit organisations strengthen our nation through their contribution to communities right across Australia. Australian not-for-profits lend a helping hand to those in need and make our country a better place through education, volunteer, sports, arts, and welfare organisations.
  • If elected, the Coalition will repeal Labor’s new statutory definition of charity and return to the common law definition as it operated prior to the passage of the Charities Act 2013.

Australian Christians [View responses to all questions from the Australian Christians]

  •  YES

Rise Up Australia Party [View responses to all questions from the Rise Up Australia Party]

  • Yes
RUAP will support churches remaining not-for-profits under the taxation act.

 

Problem gambling

The social harm of poker machines is undisputed. Each year 95,000 problem gamblers lose about $5 billion on poker machines alone.

What will your party do to curb their use?

Will your party support the introduction of $1 bets as recommended by the Productivity Commission?

Australian Labor Party [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party]

  • The Rudd Labor Government knows that problem gambling can have a devastating impact on people’s lives and more must be done to help tackle problem gambling.
  • That is why the Government implemented the first ever national reforms to address the harm from poker machines. These reforms include pre-commitment technology and warnings on every poker machine, $250 daily withdrawal limits from ATMs in gaming venues, and financial counselling services for problem gamblers.
  • The Rudd Labor Government supports the advice of the Productivity Commission that “pre-commitment is a strong, practicable and ultimately cost-effective option for harm minimisation” of poker machines.

Christian Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Christian Democratic Party]

  • We support the curbing of the use of poker machines, including their advertising and the visibility to young and impressionable eyes.
  • We support the separation of alcohol and gambling, as studies show intoxicated people will be more prone to gamble all they have available to them.
  • We also support the $1 bets limits.

Liberal Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Liberal Democratic Party]

  • The LDP neither supports nor opposes gambling. It considers it to be like any other form of entertainment – a matter of choice for responsible adults.
  • The LDP will not ban or place restrictions on any individual’s gambling unless they seek it themselves or lack the capacity to make a rational decision to participate.

Family First [View responses to all questions from the Family First]

  • Family First support legislation which will result in the health, wellbeing, welfare, safety and unity of families in Australia. Family First supports limits on ATM withdrawals, increased funding for gambler’s help services and lower betting limits.
  • Yes, Family First supports the introduction of $1 bets.

Democratic Labour Party of Australia [View responses to all questions from the Democratic Labour Party of Australia]
The DLP policy is for the removal of all poker machines across Australia. As many licenced venues have a legal right to continue the operation of poker machines for up to 2022 the DLP believes everything must be done to curb the negative effects they have on society and on family life.The DLP not only supports this recommendation, but has already proven to do so:  DLP Senator John Madigan is a Co-sponsor of the Poker Machine Harm Reduction ($1 Bets and other measures) Bill 2012 which is currently before the Senate.


Liberal National Coalition [View responses to all questions from the Liberal National Coalition]

  • The Coalition believes problem gambling is an issue that must be addressed, but government action must be proportionate to the problem, effectively target the problem and not be done in ways that damage important community institutions including clubs. The Coalition believes more needs to be done to provide opportunities for counselling to ensure we don’t see more problem gambling in new areas such as online.
  • The Coalition does not support mandatory pre-commitment, but we support voluntary pre-commitment accompanied by appropriate counselling and support services. Under mandatory pre-commitment, a problem gambler would be able to set as high a limit as they choose. It would impose high establishment costs for community clubs and it would not prevent problem gamblers simply turning to other forms of gambling (such as horse racing). The Coalition believes we must address the fundamental issue of problem gambling. We do not believe mandatory precommitment would solve the problem it is seeking to address.
  • The Coalition does not support the introduction of $1 bets as this limit doesn’t mean problem gamblers will spend less. They will just spend more time away from families and work while gambling on poker machines, and will turn to other forms of potentially more harmful gambling, including online gambling. The Coalition will introduce effective measures to actually address problem gambling, such as additional, better equipped and more effective counselling and support services for problem gamblers.

One of the fastest growing places to gamble is online. The Coalition appreciates there are serious community concerns surrounding the promotion of live online odds during the broadcast of sporting events on television and radio, particularly as it can expose children to gambling. We want Australian children to know what a lineout, wicket, scrum, goal, basket or mark is long before they know what the odds are in a game.

The Coalition has called on the broadcasting industry to act to limit advertising and we welcome the steps they have already taken to limit promotions and advertising. We will continue to monitor the broadcasters’ standards and practices to ensure they meet community expectations.


Australian Christians [View responses to all questions from the Australian Christians]
 What will your party do to curb their use?

  • Place a moratorium on any new poker machine licenses
  • Continue support for WA governments ban on Poker machines

Will your party support the introduction of $1 bets as recommended by the Productivity Commission?

  • YES

 

 

 

 

 

 


Rise Up Australia Party [View responses to all questions from the Rise Up Australia Party]

  • Yes
RUAP will support the introduction of $1 bets as recommended by the Productivity Commission.

Environment  – Sustainability

We have an obligation to be good stewards of our natural environment.

How will your party work towards a sustainable future for the generations to come?

Australian Christians [View responses to all questions from the Australian Christians]

  • Australian Christians believes that environmental issues are important because the environment is God-given and sustains life.
  • Humans have an obligation to responsibly manage the environment and to mitigate, where feasible, environmental change and pollution.
  • The following are 10 Key Aims which form the basis of our long-term Environmental Policy.
1. Recognising our shared global responsibility in reducing pollution.
2. Land use management which enhances environmentally sustainable development.
3. Protecting natural biodiversity and areas of significance.
4. Ensuring water and air quality for a. human health and b. the living environment.
5. Managing vegetation and ensuring soil quality for sustainable agricultural production and long-term food security.
6. Improving waste management and improving waste recovery.
7. Protection and enhancement of shoreline, estuarine and riparian zones.
8. Ensuring sustainable resource development.
9. Moving towards sustainable and balanced production and consumption.
10. Promoting technologies and initiatives which enhance improved sustainability.

Liberal Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Liberal Democratic Party]
The LDP values the natural environment within the context of a prosperous society that provides equal protection under the law and is based on respect for individual freedom, personal responsibility, small government and the defence of private property.


Rise Up Australia Party [View responses to all questions from the Rise Up Australia Party]

  • Expand scientific research
  • Manage wisely
RUAP will ensure that Australia’s natural resources (forestry, minerals, fisheries, agriculture, water, biodiversity etc) and unique environments are managed wisely in accord with rational science and not by ideological environmental mantras; we therefore advocate expansion of scientific research by Australians on such areas as the marine environment, ecosystems, timber, agriculture etc. We do not acknowledge global warming and climate change (although devastating), as a reality in contemporary times, but rather a shadow governmental agenda to bring in taxes and enslave societies. We specifically acknowledge natural seasonal and generational climatic fluctuations as normality. For example, we have seen cyclical ice-melts, climatic changes in temperature, seasonal flooding which are all a normal part of living in the Earth’s dynamic ecosystems and various geographic locations. We do not support a notion of anthropogenic climate change (human induced). We do not support climatic tax and will work to completely abolish this tax.

Christian Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Christian Democratic Party]

  • WE believe God has instructed us to look after the planet and so we take this call seriously.
  • We will do our best to cut down what we use, to recycle all that is possible, encourage sustainable industries and products.
  • Encourage the full rehabilitation of degraded land because of mining or other activities.
  • Encourage the planting of at least two trees per person per year.
  • To implement a policy if it cannot be done safely for the environment, the people and the nation then we do not do it.
  • We will protect our water ways both above and below ground from pollution.

Australian Labor Party [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party]

  • The Rudd Labor Government is taking action to protect and conserve our environment and preserve the Australian way of life. The Rudd Labor Government is protecting environment for the long-term – our actions and reforms deal effectively with real problems – We have a full package of measures that are responsible, practical and affordable.
  • Since taking office, Federal Labor has implemented important reforms to safeguard Australia’s unique environment. This includes finalising a national Plan for the Murray Darling Basin that will restores our rivers to health, completing a network of marine reserves protecting some of Australia’s unique ocean habitats and investing more than $2 billion to help volunteer and community organisations to protect Australia’s natural environment.
  • Only Labor is acting on climate change. Federal Labor’s emissions trading scheme, Renewable Energy Target, Australian Renewable Energy Agency and $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation are all designed to work together to drive significant renewable energy investment in Australia. Since Federal Labor came to power, direct employment in the renewable energy industry has more than doubled to over 24,000. Wind capacity has almost trebled to over 3,000 MW and 1 million solar PV systems have been installed – up from just over 7,400 under the Howard Government.

Liberal National Coalition [View responses to all questions from the Liberal National Coalition]

  • The Coalition will take direct action to reduce carbon emissions and establish a 15,000-strong Green Army charged with the clean-up and conservation of our environment, so that we can all enjoy a cleaner environment and a more sustainable future.
  • The Coalition’s direct action plan will reduce carbon emissions in a practical, affordable way inside Australia, not overseas. The Coalition remains committed to a five per cent reduction in emissions by 2020.
  • The Coalition, if elected, will also enhance Australia’s national water supplies and reduce Australia’s reliance on energy-hungry desalination plants. We will restore the Murray-Darling to health while still ensuring the viability of Australia’s food producing communities. We will also start the detailed long-term planning necessary to build new dams to secure the nation’s water supplies into the future and deliver strong economic benefits for Australia, while also protecting our environment. As part ofthe Coalition’s commitment to produce a White Paper on the Development of Northern Australia, we will investigate options to support the advancement of meritorious proposals for water infrastructure across Northern Australia, including dams and groundwater projects.

The Coalition will adopt a practical, balanced and sustainable approach to environmental issues based on linking sound scientific findings with the needs of all users resulting in more sustainable commercial activities and better environmental outcomes.


Democratic Labour Party of Australia [View responses to all questions from the Democratic Labour Party of Australia]
The DLP has extensive policies on the Environment and was the first advocate of the establishment of National Parks. Stewardship is inherently about nurturing the environment for the good of all – this includes both responsible agricultural practices and the conservation of flora and fauna. The DLP’s policy of decentralization aims to ease the overcrowding of cities and the development of regional areas. This is an effective way of de-stressing the urban environment and preserving the natural environment.


Family First [View responses to all questions from the Family First]

  • Family First opposes the carbon tax and renewable energy targets. We believe it is grossly irresponsible to proceed with these policies that involve major changes to the Australian economy without a proper, independent enquiry eg a Royal Commission, to explore the scientific, social, environmental and economic impact of such a change.
  • Water is one of the most important challenges facing our country. The water we drink, the food we eat and the health and sustainability of our river systems are of vital interest to all Australians. Family First believes Australian families are entitled to get clean water out of the tap at prices that do not burden low and middle income households.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research

In 2006, laws were passed allowing the cloning and destruction of human embryos for medical research. Embryonic stem cell research has not succeeded, but scientists have been able to use adult stem cells to achieve the same purpose, avoiding the ethical concerns.

Will your party support a review of laws allowing the cloning and destruction of human embryos?

Australian Christians [View responses to all questions from the Australian Christians]

  •  Yes

Australian Labor Party [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party]

  • The Rudd Labor Government supports the Commonwealth Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction Act (PHCR Act) and Research Involving Human Embryos Act (RIHE Act).
  • These Acts were developed to address community concerns, including ethical concerns, about scientific developments in relation to human reproduction and the utilisation of human embryos in research.
  • This legislation prohibits human cloning for reproductive purposes and regulates a range of other practices relating to reproductive technology, including use of embryos in research.

Rise Up Australia Party [View responses to all questions from the Rise Up Australia Party]
RUAP will support a review of laws allowing the cloning and destruction of human embryos.


Liberal National Coalition [View responses to all questions from the Liberal National Coalition]

  • The laws passed in 2006 to permit embryonic cloning were the subject of a conscience vote within the Federal Parliament. The Coalition does not propose to change legislation in regard to cloning.

Liberal Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Liberal Democratic Party]

  • No
  • The LDP supports scientific freedom and opposes unnecessary government restrictions on the evolution of science and technology.

Family First [View responses to all questions from the Family First]

  • Induced pluripotent stem cell has made the need for stem cell research on aborted embryos unnecessary.
  • It is therefore morally imperative that any laws relating to embryonic stem cell research be reconsidered.

Christian Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Christian Democratic Party]

  • We are committed to abolishing the right to do embryonic stem cell research as we believe all that can be done with embryonic stem cells can be done with adult stem cells.
  • If the adult stem cell research is successful the assumed medical recovery would produce better outcomes without a future anti-rejection drug program.
  • As well we strongly oppose the creating of life and the destruction of that life, as is necessary with the embryonic stem cell program.

 


Democratic Labour Party of Australia [View responses to all questions from the Democratic Labour Party of Australia]
The DLP utterly rejects cloning and the destruction of human embryos.Such is our commitment to the protection of Life that rather than being simple policy the DLP has enshrined in its Constitution the following:“The Democratic Labour Party shall uphold principles of liberty intended to affirm the sacredness of human life, from conception until natural death, as the fundamental basis for all human rights.”

Unless someone totally accepts that principle they cannot be a member of the DLP.

Abortion

Data from the Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity (Victoria) shows that in 2009 42 out of 196 babies who were aborted for “abnormalities” survived abortions but died neo-natally. It also shows that in 2009 that more than 200 late-term abortions were performed on healthy, viable babies because of maternal psychosocial reasons when there was a healthy mother and healthy baby.

Will your party support removing Medicare funding for abortions carried out on babies who are viable outside the womb?

Will your party support a ban on Medicare funding for abortions for the purpose of sex-selection?

Australian Christians [View responses to all questions from the Australian Christians]

  • YES
  • YES

Australian Labor Party [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party]

  • There are two Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items which could be used to provide Medicare rebates for the surgical termination of pregnancy.
  • These items are not specific to termination of pregnancy and are used for operations to the uterus when performed for other reasons including miscarriage.
  • The Department of Health and Ageing is not aware of any evidence that suggests that abortions are being performed in Australia for sex selection purposes.

Rise Up Australia Party [View responses to all questions from the Rise Up Australia Party]

  • Yes
  • Yes
RUAP will support removing Medicare funding for abortions carried out on babies who are viable outside the womb.
RUAP will also support a ban on Medicare funding for abortions for the purpose of sex-selection.

Liberal National Coalition [View responses to all questions from the Liberal National Coalition]

  • Members of the Coalition will always be afforded a conscience vote on abortion.
  • As Minister for Health in the Howard Government, Tony Abbott introduced a pregnancy support hotline to help women with unintended pregnancies, and the Coalition strongly believes in the importance of making such support available to women.
  • The Coalition does not intend to make changes to the laws concerning abortion.

Liberal Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Liberal Democratic Party]

  • The LDP believes in individual choice
  • We oppose government funding for abortions or counselling
  • We oppose government campaigns for or against abortion
The LDP supports privatisation of the health system including insurance. Therefore Medicare should not fund abortions as it ought to be a matter for negotiation between the insurer and the insured.
Except for special cases, the LDP opposes abortion when the foetus would be viable if born. Broadly speaking that is the last trimester. Prior to that it considers it a private matter for the mother (and potentially the father).

Family First [View responses to all questions from the Family First]

  • Family First believes life is precious and is committed to healing, caring for and saving lives wherever possible.
  • Yes, Family First will support removing Medicare funding for abortions carried out on babies who are viable outside the womb.
  • Yes, Family First will support a ban on Medicare funding for abortions for the purpose of sex-selection.
  • Family First calls for more information to be made available to pregnant women considering an abortion re alternatives to abortion.

Christian Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Christian Democratic Party]
We are opposed to abortion and would support the banning of Medicare funding of abortions.


Democratic Labour Party of Australia [View responses to all questions from the Democratic Labour Party of Australia]

The DLP does not support Medicare funding for any abortion.
As stated in the previous answer the Democratic Labour Party affirms the sacredness of human life, from conception until natural death, as the fundamental basis for all human rights;
DLP Senator Madigan has a Bill before the Senate at the moment The Health Insurance Amendment (Medicare Funding for Certain Types of Abortion) Bill 2013 which is seeking to remove Medicare funding for all abortions conducted on the grounds of Gender Selection.

 

Abortion Data

It is estimated that about 80,000-100,000 abortions are performed in Australia each year, but obtaining accurate figures is difficult because most states do not collect abortion data. What will your party do to obtain more accurate and complete abortion data in line with the cross-party recommendation of the 2008 Senate inquiry into the Health Insurance Regulations?

Australian Christians [View responses to all questions from the Australian Christians]

  • AC would campaign to have detailed information kept on abortion procedures as it is for any other medical procedure.

Australian Labor Party [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party]

  • As part of the 2009-10 Improving Maternity Services Budget Package, Federal Labor provided funding to improve maternity data collections in Australia, and as part of the negotiations over the National Maternity Services Plan, an agreement was reached with States and Territories to improve the Perinatal National Minimum Data Set.
  • In 2013 the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare published a report on compliance by jurisdictions with the Perinatal National Minimum Data Set specifications. The report found that compliance had improved for the period 2006 to 2009, with all states and territories using the national standard definition, domain values and provided data for greater than 99.5% of records in scope for 11 data elements.
  • The recommendations and response of this Report make it clear that responsibility for collecting data on pregnancy terminations rests with the States and Territories.

Rise Up Australia Party [View responses to all questions from the Rise Up Australia Party]

  • Record and Report
RUAP will call for all abortions to be recorded and reported on a State by State basis.

Liberal National Coalition [View responses to all questions from the Liberal National Coalition]

  • Concerns about the lack of data on abortions in Australia have previously been expressed in a Report ofthe Senate’s Finance and Public Administration Committee in November 2008, with the Committee making the recommendation that all States and Territories work through the Australian Health Ministers Conference to provide complete and uniform data for the Perinatal National Minimum Data Set.
  • The Coalition supports the current Government’s response to this Report, which included extra funding over four years for improved data collections as part of the Improving Maternity Data Services Budget Package 2009-10.

Liberal Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Liberal Democratic Party]
The LDP regards abortion as largely a private matter. The only data it might support collecting is abortions when the foetus would be viable if born.


Family First [View responses to all questions from the Family First]
Family First supports calls to obtain more accurate and complete data on abortion at a national level.


Christian Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Christian Democratic Party]

  • As we oppose abortion, we would expect a close to zero figure and we would see what powers under the constitution that would not prevent the Federal Government from knowing the exact figures of abortions.
  • If necessary we would have to compel such information to be made available if we cannot get a voluntary agreement from each of the states to produce the information.

Democratic Labour Party of Australia [View responses to all questions from the Democratic Labour Party of Australia]
The current DLP Bill before the Senate for removal of Medicare Funding for Gender Selection abortions has met with only one area of defence from those opposed to it. Those opposed simply state there is no evidence to show that this practice is occurring here. Our evidence shows differently but even so, the argument put up in opposition is simply stating that they don’t know because “we don’t keep any data”.The DLP believes data should be recorded for all abortions being conducted in Australia, not just for those conducted for Gender Selection Purposes.

Indigenous welfare

Social justice for indigenous people remains a major issue.

What initiatives and policies will your party introduce to ensure not only better health, housing, education and employment opportunities for indigenous Australians, but also to facilitate long-term social inclusion and a sense of hope and purpose?

What will your party do during the next term of parliament to specifically address these goals?

Australian Christians [View responses to all questions from the Australian Christians]

  • Allowing more conciliation with indigenous groups regarding housing
  • Support initiatives like that provided by Fortescue metals to provide apprenticeships and training and ultimately jobs in the mining sector

Australian Labor Party [View responses to all questions from the Australian Labor Party]

  • The Rudd Labor Government is committed to driving a national effort to close the gap in life expectancy and opportunities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
  • That’s why we made the National Apology on behalf of the Australian Parliament to Australia’s Indigenous peoples, particularly to the Stolen Generations and have made unprecedented investments to improve health, housing, education, employment and essential services.
  • The Rudd Labor Government will continue to press forward reform to close the gap and expand opportunities for all Indigenous Australians.

Liberal National Coalition [View responses to all questions from the Liberal National Coalition]

  • The Coalition believes that engagement with Indigenous issues should begin at the top of government. A Coalition Government will elevate the Indigenous affairs portfolio to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
  • If elected as Prime Minister, Tony Abbott will continue to spend one week each year living and working in a remote Aboriginal community, absorbed in the real life of Aboriginal people.
  • The Coalition will also establish the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council to help ensure that the Australian Government’s Indigenous programmes achieve real, positive change in the lives of Indigenous people and will inform the policy implementation of a new Coalition Government. The Council will by chaired by Warren Mundine and include Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians with a broad range of skills including experience in the public sector, business acumen, and a strong understanding of Indigenous culture.
  • The Coalition believes an acknowledgement of Indigenous people as the first Australians would complete our Constitution rather than change it. The key objective of any referendum would be to achieve a unifying moment for the nation similar to that achieved by the 1967 constitutional referendum. Within 12 months of taking office, an incoming Coalition Government would put forward a draft amendment and establish a bipartisan process to assess its chances of success. We would also support the repeal of obsolete racially discriminatory provisions.
  • A Coalition Government will create job opportunities for up to 5,000 Indigenous Australians by providing up to $45 million to support the GenerationOne employment model.

Indigenous people will be at the heart of a Coalition government in word and deed. The Coalition understands that education and employment are the pathways to prosperity and well-being for all Australians.

A Coalition Government will accelerate action to replace the inaction of the labor Government on Indigenous affairs. We will end labor’s overly bureaucratic processes and deliver the support and infrastructure that Indigenous Australians were promised but failed to receive under Labor.

Providing opportunities for Indigenous Australians requires pragmatic, ‘on the ground’ solutions – not the spin and empty rhetoric of labor. The Coalition will seek to empower Aboriginal people to take their future into their own hands.


Democratic Labour Party of Australia [View responses to all questions from the Democratic Labour Party of Australia]
The DLP recognises that successive Governments have made promises to help the plight of indigenous Australians however have taken a very top down approach. The DLP will put pressure onto the Government to not simply talk to indigenous Australians about problems they face, but rather, listen to the solutions indigenous communities are offering and take them on board. The DLP believes we need to work with indigenous Australians, not simply enforce an unworkable grand plan upon them.


Christian Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Christian Democratic Party]

  • We believe having the Department managing an exclusive ethnic or cultural group of people is a form of apartheid.
  • We would enquire into a program to disband the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and give the role of assisting any peoples or culture groups via the Minister for Home Affairs so that a balance treatment is seen to happen to all groups within Australia.
  • Via the department of Home affairs if a chronic deficiency was found to happen in any of the areas of housing, education, health, addictive behaviour, anti-social behaviour, criminal activity and/or unemployment issues then culturally sensitive assistance as is required will be granted to overcome the deficiency.

Liberal Democratic Party [View responses to all questions from the Liberal Democratic Party]

  • The LDP believes all people should be treated equally by the government, irrespective of their race
  • The best policies for Aboriginal Australians is the same as the best policy for non-Aboriginal Australians – low tax, low regulation, secure private property rights and trade.
Previous policies towards aboriginals have either aimed at forcing integration or forcing cultural separation. The LDP does not believe the government should be trying to integrate or separate any community in Australia. We support natural and voluntary multiculturalism but we oppose government funded or guided multiculturalism. Culture should be allowed to evolve naturally.
The problems with Aboriginal society are not caused either by the Aboriginals or by society/history. The problem is the current incentives created by the government. The government needs to introduce secure private property rights for Aboriginals and then remove all race-based legislation and remove current regulations, taxes and restrictions that prevent Australians from achieving their goals.
Aboriginal Australians should be treated like adults, not children.

Rise Up Australia Party [View responses to all questions from the Rise Up Australia Party]

  • Address their spiritual needs
  • Meet with the people
We recognise the aboriginal people as the first people of the land. We encourage them to accept our governmental apology and move forward as we work together towards equality, harmony and fairness for all Australians. We at Rise up Australia party understand that one of the major elements to moving forward with the indigenous people is to recognise that no sum of monetary support is going to be effective, or productive, when dealing with these communities. We understand that a human is comprised of three parts, spirit, soul and the physical body. When dealing with the indigenous groups we must see that physical needs, homes, money and other compensations are not the best solution for spiritual peoples. We aim to love the indigenous people and meet them at a spiritual level understanding that the land, its possession, their land rights and stewardship roles mean more to these people than any sum of money. To meet them at a multi-dimensional level is what we propose.

Family First [View responses to all questions from the Family First]

  • Australians have a right to live in a country free from racial discrimination and racial preference. It is the duty of government to protect that right.
  • If a person needs assistance, their race or ethnicity should be irrelevant.

See Also:

Tony Abbott and Islamophobia: The greatest hits

Sept 5 2013

By: Suleiman Ali Baig

Source: IslamAustralia.com

http://islaminaustralia.com/2013/09/05/tony-abbott-and-islamophobia-the-greatest-hits/

When trying to appeal to Muslim voters in Western Sydney, Tony Abbott, made an outstanding comment to a gathering of five-hundred or so Muslims at an event marking the end of Ramadan, such a comment no doubt impressed upon anyone who gave regard to the values multiculturalism:

“I am the sworn enemy for anyone who seeks to divide Australian over Australian on issues of class, gender, birth place, race and particularly over faith. I believe that all religious faiths seek to come to grips with the complexity of human condition. We have to respect the specialness of that faith to every person.” [1]

The problem was that this was of course Tony Abbott speaking; the same Tony Abbott who has a history of rash Islamophobic comments and a penchant for ‘rewriting’ history with other lies. [2] On this basis, Denise Allen, former Victorian State MP for Benalla is justified in referring to Abbott as a “blatant liar” and a “fraud.” [3]

For the purposes of this article, let us put aside his displayed willingness to stay quiet whilst Islamophobes connected to his own party have made derisive and even bigoted comments about Islam, the following is a brief list of quotes outlining the true nature of Abbott concerning Muslims; an eye-opening reminder for any Muslim or true supporter of multiculturalism.

1) The burqa ban

Only a month after his passionate speech, the one in which he assured his ‘would-be’ Muslim voters that he was a sworn enemy to anyone who would divide Australian over Australian on issues especially pertaining to faith,  Abbott commented on the acceptability of the burqa in Australia, essentially negating what he had said a mere month ago by saying:

”Frankly, it’s not the sort of attire that I would like to see widespread in our streets” [4]

Frankly, it makes little sense to ban a form of attire which some women wear out of choice rather than coercion [5], Abott’s dislike for it to be widespread is not only unrealistic but beside the point.

Regarding Abbott’s comment itself, Maha Abdo, Executive Officer of the Muslim Women’s Association said:

“Such statements are at best ignorant and at worst a deliberate attempt to target the Australian Muslim community” [6]

In their official press release, the Muslim Women’s Association said:

“Surely a country that values freedom and prides itself on its multicultural nature can accept the decision of a small minority of the community to dress in a manner that accords with the tenets of their faith. Such basic human rights are guaranteed in International Human Rights documents that Australia has ratified. Furthermore, freedom of religion is one of the very few rights embedded in our Australian constitution and one which we are disturbed and disappointed to hear is being compromised when it comes to discussions about Muslim Women.” [7]

2) On preachers of hate

During the right-wing Dutch MP Geert Wilders visit, Abbott explained that although Wilders views on Islam were “substantially wrong,” he was nonetheless “entitled to his viewpoint.” [8] Abbott, however, did not deem Taji Mustafa, a Muslim speaker from the UK (who visited Australian roughly during the same period) [9] to be worthy of such a right. Abbott referred to him as a “preacher of hate.” [10]

He also said in reference to him:

“I don’t think we need the preachers of hate in this country” [11]

And:

“We certainly shouldn’t be giving visas to people who are the people of hate.” [12]

Alarmingly, all of these excitable comments could have been applied to Wilders himself.

3) The segregation issue

At an open event intended for Muslims by Muslims, Abbott took issue to the fact that the event was segregated (which is generally seen as an acceptable practice by those that tend to go to Muslim events):

“I just think it’s un-Australian what’s happened here and I can’t understand for a second why Melbourne University would tolerate it” [13]

It’s odd how the leader of the opposition found it all too easy to create a political agenda out of this particular matter when the University of Melbourne’s Vice-Chancellor, Glyn Davis, barely had any objection to said segregation. Davis explained that although he does not personally support segregation, it is well within peoples’ rights to do so at such events, he also further pointed out the hypocritical nature of Abbott’s assertion by saying:

“When Tony Abbott finds it “absolutely extraordinary that a great liberal institution would take a huge leap back into the dark ages”, he defends liberalism by ignoring other liberal values such as tolerance and freedom of assembly.” [14]

4) “Baddies versus baddies”

When explaining the current crisis in Syria, which has seen the deaths of several innocents, Abbott explained:

“It’s not goodies versus baddies, it’s baddies versus baddies and that’s why it’s very important that we don’t make a very difficult situation worse.” [15]

This reductionist approach would be laughable were it not for the fact that this was perhaps the next Prime Minister of Australia who was speaking. Current Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, commented on Abbott’s overly simplistic analysis saying:

“The last time I used the term goodies and baddies, I think was when I was playing cowboys and Indians, in the back garden. I think I stopped doing that at the age of ten.” [16]

He also explained that such a comment proved that Abbott lacked any foreign affairs credibility:

“My single comment to Mr Abbott is this: International relations is more complex than a John Wayne western” [17]

5) Lastly, the piece de resistance

Held up by a woman with a shopping trolley, the following interchange takes place between Abbott and the aforementioned woman:

Old woman with a shopping trolley: I want to be in a country that’s not going to be run by Muslims.

Tony Abbott: I understand what you’re saying ma’am, and as I said the important thing is to make the borders secure and that way people will be happier that the right people are coming to our country. [18]

In other words, does he mean to say that “when I become Prime Minister, I won’t let these Muslims in?”

With all these comments and more, it is no wonder that former Prime Minister Paul Keating regards Abbott as an “intellectual nobody” who lacks any policy ambition. [19]

Finally, we leave you with one last comment made by the former Prime Minister reminding us all that Abbott’s rise to power won’t just be a ‘head-ache’ for Muslims…but for everyone:

“If Tony Abbott ends up the prime minister of Australia, you’ve got to say, God help us.” [20]

See Also:

VIDEO: How the Australian House of Representatives votes are counted – AEC

An explanation of how the voting system works for the House of Representatives.

 See Also:

True Khilāfah and the reality of political power

20130904-071645.jpg

Byhttp://muwasala.org

Sourcehttp://muwasala.org/

At a time of political turmoil in the Muslim world, Sayyidī al-Ḥabīb `Umar bin Ḥafīẓ (may Allāh preserve him and benefit us by him) expounds on some of the meanings of khilāfah and clarifies the reality of political power. This is an extract from a Rawḥah lesson in Imam Abū Ṭālib al-Makkī’s book, Qūt al-Qulūb with some additions for extra clarity. The lesson took place in Dār al- Muṣṭafā, Hadhramout Yemen on 21st Ramaḍān 1434 / 30th July 2013.

There are two types of khilāfah. The first is the outward khilāfah which relates to political power, which is not noble and honourable in itself. Anyone may attain political power, whether they be pious or corrupt, whether they be a believer or a disbeliever, whether they be a Prophet or a wretched person.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“Had this material world (dunyā) weighed even the wing of a gnat in Allah’s estimation, He would not have given a disbeliever a glass of water from it to drink.”

The second type is the khilāfah of prophethood, which is a noble and lofty thing. It relates to understanding the speech of Allah, to our connection with Him, to attaining a pure heart and attaining His pleasure. It is the preserve of the Prophets and their followers, the pious people in every time and place. No disbeliever or corrupt person may come close to it, nor someone with arrogance or pride in their heart. It began with two people on the face of the earth: Ādam and Ḥawā’ (Eve) and it continues to this day. If there were only two of us on the earth and we obeyed Allah’s commands in a state of truthfulness and sincerity we would be the khulafā’ of Allah on the earth, without anyone calling us a president or a minister or a leader. This is the khilāfah we should seek. Many Muslims have no desire to attain it, although it is the greatest form of khilāfah.

Sayyidunā `Alī combined the inward and the outward khilāfah, and after him Sayyidunā al-Ḥasan, until he relinquished power. At this point the inward khilāfah, which cannot be affected by evil, became separated from the outward khilāfah, which is subject to oppression and misguidance. Those who possess the inward khilāfah will intercede for others on the Day of Judgement, whereas those who possessed the outward khilāfah will await judgement. If they were just, they will be saved and if they were oppressive, they will be destroyed. Shaykh al-Sha`rāwī said that one of the wisdoms behind the existence of oppressive rulers is that they cause people to hate oppression.

If we study history we find that more often than not political power over the centuries has been in the hands of disbelievers and corrupt people. Many of the Messengers were sent to their people while political power was in the hands of disbelievers. Sayyidunā Nūḥ spent 950 years amongst his people as the khalīfah of Allah while political power was in the hands of disbelievers.

The inward khilāfah was in the hands of Sayyidunā Mūsā and the outward khilāfah was in the hands of Fir`aun. Mūsā said to his people: seek Allah’s assistance and be patient, for the earth belongs to Allah, and He bequeaths it to whomever He wishes from among His slaves – whether they be believers of disbelievers. However, the end is only for the people of taqwā. So be someone who possesses taqwā and do not concern yourself with the outward khilāfah. The tyrants may threaten you and try to kill you, but the people of the inward khilāfah seek Allah’s assistance and rely on Him alone.

Look at the life of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, the master of the people of khilāfah, and the imām of all people. For forty years before receiving revelation he was not in a position of leadership or power. He was, however, presiding over the inward khilāfah and was known as al-Amīn, ‘the Trustworthy One.’ People trusted him and consulted him in their affairs. After receiving revelation he spent thirteen years in Makkah, during which time power was in the hands of people like Abū Jahl. Outwardly he was under their rule but inwardly he was the greatest khalīfah of Allah on the earth. In al-Madīnah he was confronted by hostility from the Jews, the Hypocrites and the polytheists. It was only after eight years that he finally entered Makkah at the age of sixty-one. He only ruled over Makkah for two years before his death. This did not, however, detract from his khilāfah. He is the greatest khalīfah and every other khalīfah from the time of Ādam to `Īsā will be under his banner.

How can people venerate political power when this is the example of the Master of the Prophets ﷺ? Leave the rulers to their corruption and their oppression. We do not condone their oppression or follow them in committing evil. We advise them if they are ready to accept sincere advice. Meanwhile we are in a position of khilāfah, the pure khilafah mentioned by Allah: Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will surely grant them inheritance of power (khilāfah) on the earth as He granted it to those before them; that He will make their religion firm, the religion which He has chosen for them; and He will replace their fear with security. They worship Me and do not associate partners with Me.

We are allowed to make the call to prayer, to pray, to openly teach these lessons which are broadcast to the East and the West. We do not deserve any of this. It is only through the blessings of Muhammad and his steadfastness. Makkah was only opened to him in the final years of his life, but he opened up the whole world ﷺ. We used to teach and study in a state of fear but Allah promises: He will replace their fear with security. The years passed and the regime changed and now we find ourselves in a state of ease and safety.

They offer you political power and status but we have found something pure and lofty so why do they want us to enter into something filthy? When Imam al-Ḥusayn, the son of Shaykh Abū Bakr bin Sālim was offered political power he said: “Had it had been fitting to give authority to animals we would not be content for it to be given to our horses.” This is the perspective of the pious people on political power.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“You will greedily seek positions of leadership and it will be a cause of regret on the Day of Judgement.”

We fear that anyone who seeks power and then attains it will be left to it (without Allah’s assistance) and then be destroyed. So if you have a position of responsibility have taqwā of Allah and rule by the Sacred Law of Allah and fear Allah in the way you treat people. If you heed this advice we hope you will be saved. If not, you have chosen your own fate. Sayyidunā `Umar would say: “I wish to leave power with the bare minimum – with nothing for me or against me.” He was not proud of his position. He also said: “It is enough that one descendant of al-Khaṭṭāb be asked about his position. Do not make `Abdullāh bin `Umar the Khalīfah after me.” This was his understanding of the outer khilāfah and the responsibility it entails.

The hadith inform us that the inward and outward khilāfah will not be combined until the end of time. Prior to this there will be a period in which people heart’s and states with Allah are rectified which prepares the way for the coming of al-Mahdī. The foundation of his rule will be pure hearts. Without the presence of these hearts he will not be able to achieve anything. Someone once asked Sayyidunā `Alī why problems had arisen during his rule, whereas there had been stability during the time of Sayyidunā Abū Bakr and Sayyidunā `Umar. He replied that it was because Abū Bakr and `Umar ruled over people like me, whereas I am ruling over people like you.”

It is possible for any individual to reach the highest of ranks whatever situation they are in and whatever government they are under. Why miss out on these opportunities? We say we want to rule, we want power. Let your Lord rule. The hadith states: “If you seek it you will be left to it, but if you are sought to rule, you will be assisted in it.” Even when the people attempt to put al-Mahdī in power, he will refuse until they force him to do so. Even though he is worthy of assuming power, he does not desire it and does not attempt to gain people’s votes. Rather he is sought out and placed in power and then he receives Allah’s assistance.

Merely speaking about this issue has taken a long time, which tells you how much harm is done by entering into these struggles. So much time is lost and so much blood is spilt. So do not get involved with struggles which lead to harm and bloodshed.

May Allah unite the Muslims and remove these tribulations. May He not allow their enemies to take advantage of them by giving them weapons and then watching them kill each other. May Allah awaken the hearts of this Ummah. Let them not place their trust in anyone in the East or West. Let their trust be in You. If this is the case then everything in the East and the West will be made subservient to them.

Allah has decreed that power be in the hands of disbelievers and corrupt people. This is the way of Allah in the past and you will find no change in the way of Allah. We, however, have the opportunity to establish the rule of Allah and the Law of Allah in our homes, in our dealings with our families and friends and our neighbours. We shall shortly meet Allah and we shall return to Him. Nothing on the face of the earth will benefit us other than that which we have performed truly for Allah.