Monthly Archives

June 2021

FARMERS EYE LONG CAMPAIGN AGAINST MOUSE PLAGUE

By Australian Newsletter

Farmers across inland NSW are bracing for a long battle against the mouse plague with any lull during winter expected to be reversed once spring brings renewed food supplies as crops ripen. Jason McCutcheon, a fourth-generation wheat and cattle farmer from Trangie, in the state’s north-west, said swarms of mice began appearing in February before heavy rains “drowned a heap of them”. “They were absolutely horrendous,” Mr McCutcheon said. “Everywhere’s bad here, as far as the eye can see.” While numbers of the rodents have eased lately, he has had no choice but to lay fresh bait around his shed where he keeps grain for his cattle, and make regular baitings at $5000 each time across his 1000-hectare property.

“They’re still doing lots of damage,” McCutcheon said. “You might kill all the mice on your farm but if your next-door neighbour isn’t doing the same, they will just come through your fence.” While a good frost will help keep them down, the mice are expected to return with renewed menace come the spring when ripening crops provide new food sources. “I’ve got all my mice bait ready to go,” he said. Mr McCutcheon shared the concerns of NSW Farmers about the government’s plans to begin distribution of 10,000 litres of the potent poison bromadiolone if it gets the nod from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority. While he might consider using bromadiolone if it is cheaper than the zinc phosphide now in use, the restricted bait “would do more damage to more animals, including birds”.

The pesticides authority is still to decide whether to permit the poison’s use, although even then it might only be approved along property perimeters, limiting its effectiveness since many mice have already set up within farms. In the meantime, Mr McCutcheon and his neighbours are dealing with the gruesome task of disposing of thousands of dead, stinking mouse corpses, which fill their homes with an ongoing stench. “We’ve also lost two air-conditioners, one washing machine, a toaster and a kettle [as mice have chewed into their wiring],” he said. “The insurance doesn’t cover the rodents, unfortunately.”

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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MPs URGED TO “GET THEIR ACT TOGETHER” OVER GENDER INTERVENTION

By Australian Newsletter

MPs across Australia must “get their act together” to protect more young people from the harms of gender intervention, argues FamilyVoice Australia (FVA). “In response to a growing number of confused children and teenagers receiving puberty suppression or cross sex hormone intervention in various States, FVA is respectfully urging MPs to get their act together and protect young people at risk from the harmful consequences of so-called gender identity treatment,” said FamilyVoice Australia spokesman David d’Lima. Answers to questions recently raised in the West Australian Parliament by Hon Nick Goiran show a rapid increase in the number of confused young people receiving hormonal intervention in response to gender confusion.

“We commend Nick Goiran, but we need many more MPs to speak up and protect young people from life-long damage in the West and beyond,” David d’Lima said. FamilyVoice also has applauded recent concerns raised in the New South Wales Parliament by Hon Fred Nile on the issue of gender intervention. “Questions raised by Rev Nile have confirmed that the NSW Coalition Government supports experimental gender intervention on children that may produce life-long infertility and other irreversible consequences,” David d’Lima said. “MPs who would not want such radical responses to harm their own young kids or grandchildren cannot sit back and allow confusion to somehow justify high risk prescriptions for young people in the mainstream community.

“The way forward is clarity about biology, and the sensitive encouragement of young people who are struggling with gender identity, but not to prescribe dangerous chemical intervention,” he said. “MPs must also put a stop to the propaganda and misinformation about gender that is driving the confusion in the first place.”

Source: FamilyVoice Australia

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NATIONAL WEATHER RELATED PRAYER INITIATIVE

By Australian Newsletter

In last week’s article announcing this initiative we gave the address to which people should write it they wanted to become part of such a network. Unfortunately a wrong email address was inserted into the article for which we apologise. Those wanting to know more about the initiative, or wishing to express an interest in joining it, should email Sam Hays at samhays776@gmail.com

Source: Australian Prayer Network

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INVITATION TO BE PART OF A NEW NATIONAL WEATHER RELATED PRAYER INITIATIVE

By Australian Newsletter

Australia, and indeed the globe, has in the past 18 months suffered under some extreme weather related conditions.  The cost of these events in Australia has been very high. This is in accordance with God’s Word, and we are witnessing a degree of this Biblical prophecy in our generation. For the past two years, Hunter Region (NSW) intercessors,  have been consistently praying into the weather patterns affecting their region, with promising results. In summary, the Hunter had no damaging fires during the horrific summer of 2020 (that impacted much of the East coast), nor did it experience any significant flood/storm damage during the 2020 East coast winter storm season, or the severe March 2021 rain event that affected much of the NSW coast.  The Hunter’s water storages are also full after experiencing their lowest levels on record just 2 years ago.

Hunter weather prayer coordinator Sam Hays said: “Christians should be encouraged by this testimony of the power of prayer to protect our land from severe weather events and the negative impact of changes in the climate.  Jesus demonstrated His authority over the wind and waves in Matt 8:26 and He has given us this same authority by the power of the Holy Spirit to exercise it in our own region”.  There are many Biblical examples of believers influencing the weather, when needed. Sam believes it is time to develop a national weather prayer network with regional coordinators across Australia; working in partnership with their local prayer groups.  Sam is inviting interested Christians to be part of a team of intercessors who will implement a prayer strategy to protect our nation from future severe weather events.  If you are interested in being part of this initiative, or for more information, please contact Sam Hays at samyhays776@gmail.com

Source: Australian Prayer Network

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SOUTH AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENT VOTES TO END LIFE DURING PALLIATIVE CARE WEEK

By Australian Newsletter

National Palliative Care Week in Australia is a time that the nation’s mind should be focused on supporting and caring for the terminally ill. Instead, the South Australian Parliament voted to progress the physician assisted suicide bill. Christopher Brohier, SA Director for the Australian Christian Lobby said, “It is evident that government resources are being used to further the physician assisted suicide bill. “The South Australian Health Minister last week released an anonymous paper from Wellbeing SA arguing against institutional conscientious objection rights. The government is therefore putting itself in direct conflict with Calvary Hospitals, one of the state’s largest palliative care providers.

“The Parliament and the Health Minister must take into account the views of Calvary Hospitals,” said Mr Brohier. “The bill must be amended in the committee stage to provide for institutional conscientious objection rights.” The Australian Christian Lobby urged the South Australian Parliament to reject the bill or significantly amend it when the third reading vote occurs.

Source: Australian Christian Lobby

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FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AFFIRMS SUPPORT FOR AGE-VERIFICATION

By Australian Newsletter

The Australian federal government has tabled its response to the House of Representatives Age of Innocence Report on the dangers of easy-access, online pornography to children. The government has affirmed that it will support the committee’s recommendations to develop standards for age-verification for internet porn sites, develop a secure method to exclude minors’ access to porn but allow adults, and provide funds for the e-Safety Commissioner to develop and publish a roadmap towards mandatory age verification for online pornographic material. This is a further step in FamilyVoice’s 8-year campaign to unite anti-pornography groups across Australia, organize events, and petition MPs for change, and the beginning of a new season of possibilities for protection of children.

It is worth noting the names of the committee members and MPs who investigated the issue and made the report to the Government. They were Andrew Wallace, Sharon Claydon, Mike Freelander, Andrew Laming, Peta Murphy, Rowan Ramsay, Julian Simmonds and Anne Webster; and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher and his wonderful staff.

Source: FamilyVoice Australia

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QUEENSLAND CHURCHES FORCED INTO EUTHANASIA

By Australian Newsletter

The churches operating Queensland’s biggest private hospitals and nursing homes have warned they will be forced to facilitate voluntary euthanasia for dying people under legislation to go before state parliament shortly. Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane Mark Coleridge and the Uniting Church’s Queensland moderator, Andrew Gunton, said the draft bill released by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk failed to deliver a promised right of “institutional conscientious ­objection”. Dr Coleridge said the legislation would allow patients who requested help to die but were too ill to be moved from a Catholic hospital to bring in outside doctors to assess them and potentially administer a death-dealing dose.

“That was something that surprised and concerned me about the draft bill,” he said. “It seemed to give with one hand and take with the other, what seems to be a concession to the rights of institutional conscientious objection is in fact no real concession at all.” Reverend Gunton said if aged care home clients were classed as permanent residents they could demand that a request for Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) by carried out on site, even though the Uniting Church was adamant it would have nothing to do with euthanasia. “It seems incredibly unfair and not to what the spirit we thought this was going to be, having institutional conscientious objection,” he said. “We think it undermines the very principle which we are fighting for, our right to express our faith-based values in the facilities we run.”

Catholic Health Australia provides one in five hospital and aged care beds in Queensland, listing in its portfolio Brisbane’s Mater Hospital group and Mercy Community Services, while the Uniting Church runs four major health care centres, including the Wesley Hospital, also in Brisbane, as well as 47 nursing homes state-wide. While the draft legislation framed by the Queensland Law Reform Commission recognises the right of conscientious objection for medical staff and for institutions to advertise a faith-based position against VAD, Reverend Gunton said the bill otherwise was “incredibly vague”. Catholic Health Australia chief executive Pat Garcia said the existing provisions would force faith-based hospitals and homes to enable VAD on the premises. “There is no choice in that,” he said.

“We have to consider the impact this supposedly voluntary scheme will have on nurses, residents and patients who choose to work, live and be treated in facilities that have expressly said they will not offer VAD. It’s a serious anomaly that must be addressed.” Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC) framework allowed any institutional “entity” to opt out of VAD, but it would be required to transfer a person who qualified for assisted dying to somewhere else that allowed it. “In some situations, requiring an individual to be transfered to a different hospice when they’re close to death and in great pain, would subject them to distress or deny them access to VAD,” he said. “It’s important the VAD scheme provides all Queenslanders who are suffering with equal end-of-life choices, irrespective of where they live.”

Mr Miles and Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman attended a meeting with church representatives where their concerns about being roped into VAD were put. There would be a 12-week period of further consultation after the Bill was introduced into Parliament by Ms Palaszczuk.  Queensland is the fifth state after Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and South Australia to enact or introduce the right to die for terminally ill people.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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WE ARE NOT PURSUING A WOKE AGENDA PETER DUTTON TELLS DEFENCE FORCE CHIEFS

By Australian Newsletter

Defence Minister Peter Dutton has ordered his department and serving military personnel to stop pursuing a “woke agenda” after Defence held morning teas where staff wore rainbow clothing to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia. Peter Dutton has laid down the law to his department over pursuing a “woke” agenda, saying such events are a distraction from protecting Australia’s national security. Mr Dutton, who has vowed to shake up his department and refocus on its core mission, told a media conference he ordered Defence Force Chief Angus Campbell and Secretary Greg Moriarty to issue a note ending events with “particular clothes in celebration”.

“I’ve been very clear to the chiefs that I will not tolerate discrimination. But we are not pursuing a woke agenda,” Mr Dutton said. “Our task is to build up the morale in the Australian Defence Force and these woke agendas don’t help.” Earlier in the year a note was sent out from Defence to staff urging them to mark IDAHOBIT by wearing rainbow clothing and ally pins to morning tea events. “Defence ADF and APS employees are encouraged to acknowledge IDAHOBIT in a COVID-safe manner. Examples for activity include hosting morning teas, encouraging discussions regarding the importance of IDAHOBIT, raising awareness of LGBTI rights and wearing visible rainbow clothing or ally pins,” the note said.

The goal was to show “support for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) colleagues, friends and family by standing against prejudice and discrimination, and demonstrating inclusion”.  But Mr Dutton ordered Mr Campbell and Mr Moriarty to issue a department-wide note banning events where staff celebrate by wearing particular clothes. “Defence represents the people of Australia and must at all times be focused on our primary mission to protect Australia’s national security interests. We must not be putting effort into matters that distract from this,” the note said. “To meet these important aims, changing language protocols and those events such as morning teas where personnel are encouraged to wear particular clothes in celebration … are not required and should cease.

“We have made it clear to all Service Chiefs and Group Heads that combat and organisational capability is to be delivered through our well-developed training and education programs, exercises and operational experience, with respectful behaviours, underpinned by Defence values.” The directive, signed by General Campbell and Mr Moriarty, applied to all members of Defence across the armed forces and the public service. A Defence People Group Communication Plan prepared for IDAHOBIT also told members to use the term partner instead of husband or wife and to check with colleagues “what is your pronoun”. “Do not assume that everyone is heterosexual or that this is the norm. Avoid using language such as ‘wife’ or ‘husband’ that assumes all relationships are heterosexual,” the document said.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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