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Abbott needs more women at the top
June 13, 2013, Anne Summers, The Sydney Morning Helrald

You need only to look at the gender composition of the government and opposition’s front-bench teams to judge the accuracy of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s statement the election is about ”whether, once again, we will banish women’s voices from our political life”.

If Tony Abbott is elected prime minister on September 14 the number of women at the Cabinet table will drop by 50 per cent.

Australia will go from having one of the highest representations of women in government in the democratic world to a very ordinary presence when compared with similar countries.

All up, women are just 19 per cent of the Abbott team, whereas the Gillard government comprises 33 per cent women.

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Coalition won’t back sex assault charity
June 09 2013, Jill Stark, The Age

A mental health charity set up to reduce sexual assault and violence against women in psychiatric wards faces closure within months without new funding to stay afloat.

The Women and Mental Health Network has campaigned to make Victorian psychiatric units safer for female patients for the past 25 years, but government funding and philanthropic donations have dried up.

A report last month revealed 67 per cent of women hospitalised for psychiatric treatment had experienced sexual or other forms of harassment during their stay, and 45 per cent had been sexually assaulted. More than 80 per cent said nursing staff were unhelpful when they reported the incidents.

The network was funded by the Victorian government to develop guidelines to improve reporting standards and reduce rates of violence, intimidation and sexual assault, which were launched by Mental Health Minister Mary Wooldridge last month.

It was hoping to be funded for statewide training of hospital staff on the guidelines, but the government has given the contract to another agency. Executive officer Cheryl Sullivan said the network was best-placed to deliver training, which it had developed using women’s experiences.

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No revisiting gay marriage: Abbott
May 4, 2013, Michael Gordon, Political editor, The Age

Tony Abbott has doused expectations of any change on same-sex unions in the next Parliament, predicting that a significant majority of Coalition MPs will share his strong opposition to gay marriage.

Mr Abbott has dismissed speculation that he would call a conscience vote in the Coalition party room after the September election, telling Fairfax Media he did not anticipate ”much enthusiasm” to revisit the issue. ”I don’t think anyone should expect that this is necessarily going to come up in the next Parliament,” Mr Abbott said in an exclusive interview.

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Hope that gay support will help Abbott ‘evolve’
The Age, David Wroe, 1 April 2013

Gay rights advocates have applauded declarations of support for same-sex marriage by Tony Abbott’s daughters, saying they hope the remarks will help the Liberal leader’s views ”evolve”.

Mr Abbott’s daughters Frances and Bridget said in a weekend interview they strongly supported the rights of same-sex couples to get married – in contrast to their father’s more conservative opposition to gay marriage.

Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome said Mr Abbott’s daughters were ”typical of their generation”. Their support showed same-sex marriage was inevitable – though he stressed gay and lesbian couples shouldn’t have to wait a generation.

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Abbott’s paper armour
The Sydney Morning Herald, Tony Wright, 31 March 2013


Opposition Leader Tony Abbott carries a shield with him as he darts from greengrocer to drycleaner to manufacturer warning of the evils of the carbon tax and how Julia Gillard’s government is destroying the economy and driving consumer prices to the stratosphere.

His shield is a 50-page booklet bearing a photograph of his leadership team looking suitably optimistic, Malcolm Turnbull slightly out of focus at the far end.

As Gillard’s government attempts to recover from its recent calamities and many commentators declare that September 14 will deliver an Abbott government, the booklet Mr Abbott holds before his heart at every photographic opportunity might be considered required reading.

”Our Plan”, declares the headline on a suitably Liberal blue background. ”Real Solutions for all Australians”.

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Tony Abbott: A question of character
Posted by admin in Crime, Politics, Religion on 28 March, 2013

Tony Abbott should come clean about what he knew about the homosexual rapes that occurred at the seminary while he was a trainee priest, and about which he appears to be covering up, writes Bob Ellis.

Nine years after I first read them, I quoted at last in my blog some sentences from Michael Duffy‘s cool Plutarchian book Latham and Abbott.

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Abbott vows to keep religion out of policy
March 11, 2013, Tony Wright, National affairs editor of The Age

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has sought to further remake his public image by declaring his own religious beliefs would never dominate his politics.

He also stated that earlier comments condemning abortion were poorly stated and admitted that his opposition to homosexuals had changed once he had got to know gays.

Supported by his lesbian sister, her lover, his wife Margie and his daughters, Mr Abbott said that when he claimed three years ago during a television interview that he felt ”a bit threatened” by homosexuals, he had been trying to guard a family secret.

He had only just been told by his sister that she was a lesbian.

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7 NEWS, Updated March 10, 2013, 11:41 pm

Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says he can guarantee that his religious views will not impact on policies about women.

The Liberal leader has also backtracked from his previous views on homosexuals and saying the numbers of abortions each year is a “legacy of unutterable shame”.

He has told Nine Network’s 60 minutes program that he did not say what he meant to and distanced himself from controversial comments he had previously made.

“I didn’t express it as well as I could have or should have,” Mr Abbott said.

“And I absolutely accept that for any woman facing an unexpected pregnancy, the choices are tough.”

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Bernardi tests Abbott’s patience by backing Dutch MP Geert Wilders
BY:CHIP LE GRAND From: The Australian February 20, 2013 5:10PM

COALITION Senator Cory Bernardi tested the patience of his parliamentary leader Tony Abbott by affirming his support for Dutch MP Geert Wilders, who has been forced to cancel a speaking engagement in Perth because no venue was willing to provide him a stage.

Senator Bernardi, whom Wilders this week described as an old friend, had distanced himself from the anti-Islam campaigner since late last year, when he was given a visa to visit Australia. However, the cancellation of Wilders’ tour date today prompted the Senator to lament the “double standard” of free speech in Australia.

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Free Speech Double Standard
Cory, 20 February 2013

It seems that there is a double standard when it comes to free speech in Australia.

Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ public speaking tour has run into constant problems as venues continue to pull out or refuse to host his events.

Mr Wilders had to cancel his speaking tour last year when the government reportedly took over two months to approve his visa. Wilders’ visa approval only came through as he was in the process of cancelling his trip.

On the other hand, last year the government had no issue granting a visa to Taji Mustafa, the British leader of Muslim extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

They also appear to have no problem admitting Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais who is scheduled to attend the Australian Islamic Peace Conference in March.

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16 Quotes From Tony Abbott to Remind You Why He Shouldn’t Be Prime Minister
Posted on August 23, 2012 by Liam Carswell & Jamila Fontana

On immigration:

1. ‘Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it’s not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia.’

2. ‘These people aren’t so much seeking asylum, they’re seeking permanent residency. If they were happy with temporary protection visas, then they might be able to argue better that they were asylum seekers’.

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All kids must read the Bible, federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says
December 19, 2009 4:10PM

BIBLE classes should be compulsory so children have a fundamental understanding of Christianity on leaving school, Tony Abbott says.

“I think everyone should have some familiarity with the great texts that are at the core of our civilisation,” said the Federal Opposition leader.

“That includes, most importantly, the Bible.

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