Michael Yore“It is time for Australia to reassert the value of housing as a basic human right”, proclaims the 2018-2019 Social Justice Statement from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. And quite rightly! A strong human rights perspective correctly guides and colours the entire statement on housing and homelessness in Australia. The statement bases the reaffirmation of those human rights on the unequivocal commitment of the Gospels and of Catholic Social Teaching to the most powerless and the poorest. From these foundations, the Bishops’ statement critiques, with great clarity, the weaknesses of Australia’s housing policy directions, at the same time offering possible just and inclusive ways forward.
Bruce DuncanSounding surprisingly like an evangelical revivalist, Prime Minister Morrison in Albury on 6 September highlighted the need for love in our country for every Australian, saying this set the value base for his own thinking, and presumably for policies of his government. No one in Albury objected to the ideal of love of neighbour, but it sounded a bit odd, when people were expecting a significant statement about changed policies of his government after the leadership bloodletting. Some commentators are wondering how Morrison’s faith as a Pentecostal Christian will influence his policy decisions. Does Morrison endorse a ‘prosperity gospel’ type of Pentecostalism? A correspondent forThe Guardian, Van Badham, claims of her experience in Hillsong: “the message is that earthly riches result as a recognition of God’s favour. It’s an apologia for wealth and privilege …”.
An Enabling Life: Father Kevin Mogg. A Collection of Reminiscences by Anne TuoheyFrom his first parish appointment as Curate at West Heidelberg’s St Pius X parish, Father Kevin Mogg was energetic, and focused on engaging with the parish community. Using sport as an invitation to become involved, he gathered the youth and families around the parish, enacting the approach of the Young Christian Workers. He would implement this approach at North Ringwood’s Holy Spirit parish, and, even in his seventies as parish priest at St McCartan’s Mornington, continued to build a strong sense of community engagement and connection. Hundreds of men now in their sixties and seventies credit Kevin with setting their lives on good paths, and these include young men he encountered as a youth justice chaplain in the 1960s-1970s. He continued to visit men in adult prisons for many decades. The book was to be launched by Judge Michael McInerney on Thursday 32 January 2019 at the Knox Centre, East Melbourne. Copies can be ordered for $25.00, either online from CatholicCare or or by ringing (03) 9287 5517.
For an insight into An Enabling Life, see our article on the website of Social Policy Connections. For details of the launch, see the article on the website of Catholic Care.
Rod TiffinYesterday (18 September), Andrew Probyn reported for the ABC on conversations Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Stokes, the two media proprietors, had with each other and with Malcolm Turnbull. Most attention has been paid to Murdoch’s statement to Stokes that Malcolm has to go. There is a yawning vacuum in the story, though, as to why Murdoch thought this. What was Turnbull’s mortal sin in Murdoch’s eyes? In my view, as revealing as their purported power, is the proprietors’ incompetence. They are revealed to have very definite but quite crude views of Australian politics.
National Energy Guarantee saw the end of the fourth-best option for aligning climate and energy policy, following earlier vetoes by the Coalition party room on carbon pricing, an emissions intensity scheme, and the clean energy target. Yet, despite the federal government’s policy paralysis, the renewable energy train just keeps on rolling. Our analysis, released by the ANU Energy Change Institute, shows that the Australian energy industry has now demonstrated the capacity to deliver 100% renewable electricity by the early 2030s, if the current rate of installations continues beyond the end of this decade.