Politicians can't be bothered with social questions: NSW churches

With NSW moving to parliamentary elections this weekend, the Council of Churches has revealed that only five state politicians bothered to answer a questionnaire on key social issues.

In the 12 question survey commissioned last month by the NSW Council of Churches, candidates were asked to outline key aspects of their party's policy on climate change, water, health and nutrition, abortion, euthanasia and education, the Council says in a statement.

In his response, the Reverend Fred Nile, leader of the Christian Democratic Party, announced he would require an approved course on Australian values and gender discrimination to be taught in every NSW school.

Another candidate said he was unconcerned at medically-supervised voluntary euthanasia if it was performed "in an appropriate, caring and loving way."

"The survey was designed to help voters to understand key policy positions of their local candidates," NSW Council of Churches Research Officer, Rod Benson, said.

"It was also an opportunity for every sitting politician in the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council to outline their policies on key issues, but only five chose to do so."

Several politicians indicated they would respond after receiving policy advice, or when party policy had been clarified, but none had followed up on their initial response.

Politicians who responded to the survey include Manly Independent David Barr, Wakehurst Liberal Member Brad Hazzard, Heffron Labor Member Kristina Keneally, Christian Democrat Fred Nile and Port Macquarie Independent Robert Oakeshott.

2007 Election Survey (NSW Council of Churches)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
New South Wales Council of Churches
State Elections NSW

23 Mar 2007

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