NSW Gay conversion law would ban suppression of gender identity

“The NSW government’s plans to ban gay conversion therapy will be expanded to include making it illegal to change or suppress a person identifying as trans or gender diverse.

Attorney-General Michael Daley has confirmed the government is pushing ahead with its own new laws, rather than backing independent MP Alex Greenwich’s bill later this month. …”

– Report from The Sydney Morning Herald.

“ACT government’s ‘takeover’ of Calvary Hospital ‘ideologically driven’” — Sky News

“The ACT government’s decision to compulsorily acquire Calvary Hospital should be ‘pertinent and front of mind’ for Australian Christians, says Australian Christian Lobby CEO Michelle Pearse. …”

– Video from Sky News Australia. Image: Sky News.

Is taking over Calvary Hospital a religious freedom breach?

“There has been a lot of controversy around the recent decision of the ACT government to compulsorily acquire Canberra’s Calvary Hospital.

One question that is worth asking is this: could this move be an unlawful breach of religious freedom rights? In this post I want to consider the possibilities. …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Associate Professor Neil Foster suggests some avenues which could be explored.

Image: Diocese of Sydney.

Rebranding of Calvary Hospital Bruce to North Canberra Hospital

“Canberra Catholics and staff of Calvary Public Hospital grieved as the compulsory acquisition of Calvary by the ACT Government took effect on 3 July.

The ACT Government took over the Catholic-run hospital from midnight, ending a five-week battle to save it from the takeover — including a failed Supreme Court challenge.

Now named North Canberra Hospital, all of the crucifixes and other religious symbols were removed and staff given unbranded uniforms to wear. …”

– Report from The Daily Declaration. Photo: Australian Christian Lobby.

An open letter from Calvary

This open letter form Calvary Health Care was posted on Friday, in anticipation of today’s ‘hostile takeover’ of Calvary Public Hospital, Bruce, by the ACT Government –

“This Sunday marks the end of an era for Calvary. We have been a trusted healthcare provider for public patients in the ACT for 44 years, providing care from birth to end of life, and everything in between.

Since Calvary Public Hospital Bruce opened its doors in 1979, we have been there for significant moments in the lives of many patients and their loved ones. …”

Read it all here.

Related:

Canavan and Pocock call for Inquiry into the Calvary Hospital Takeover – Australian Christian Lobby.

Calvary Hospital media release after Supreme Court dismisses application

13th June 2023

Calvary is disappointed by the ACT Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss the application challenging the validity of the Health Infrastructure Enabling Act 2023.

Calvary National Chief Executive, Martin Bowles, said the decision to mount a legal challenge against the proposed compulsory acquisition of Calvary Public Hospital Bruce was taken in the best interests of staff, the broader Calvary business and the Canberra community.

“The past five weeks have been harrowing for our Calvary Public Hospital Bruce staff and partners, our organisation as a whole, the wider community and even those working at Canberra Health Services,” Mr Bowles said.

“For 44 years Calvary has been a trusted local healthcare provider in the Territory and we were committed to the remaining 76 years of our contract. However, the ACT Government instead chose to legislate to end a longstanding commercial arrangement with us, even though we have not breached the conditions of our contract.”

This was despite previously providing an option to the ACT Government to transfer land, build a new hospital and ensure Calvary continue delivering the public health services.

“However, Calvary will comply with the legislation in relation to transition and we look forward to receiving a detailed and more realistic plan from the ACT Government,” Mr Bowles added.

Calvary stands by its actions since May 2022, entering negotiations in good faith and investing considerable time to reach a compromise with the ACT Government over the proposed new hospital.

“I want to personally thank our 1800 staff, who have remained dedicated to delivering outstanding care even during these trying times and Calvary will ensure they are appropriately supported throughout the transition period,” Mr Bowles said.

Calvary will consider the ACT Supreme Court judgement once it is made available.

– Source: Calvary.

Related:

Media release – dated 9th June 2023, from The Australian Christian Lobby:

“The dismissal of Calvary Health Care’s application for an injunction to stop the takeover of Calvary Public Hospital by the ACT Supreme Court exposes the vulnerability of all Australians to totalitarianism by law, according to the Australian Christian Lobby. …”

Government Takeover Scandal

In her latest video, the Australian Christian Lobby’s Wendy Francis discusses the alarming takeover attempt of the Catholic Calvary Hospital in Canberra.

In the last 12 months 35% of Australian Ministers considered quitting

“A little under 200 clergy took part in the survey and, while they work across the country, they were predominantly in NSW, married and male, with an average of 18½ years in ministry. More than 60 per cent of the respondents were senior ministers…

A senior consultant at the Centre for Ministry Development, Peter Mayrick, who gets alongside clergy to support them in their ministry, says that the issues of stress and burnout are ‘very real… and something we have to deal with’. …”

– Story by Judy Adamson at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Calvary Health Care starts legal proceedings

“Lawyers for Calvary Health Care and the ACT Government will have a full day in the Supreme Court to argue over whether an injunction can be granted to hold up the compulsory acquisition of the public hospital in Bruce.

The head of the northside transition team isn’t worried this will hold up the process, which is slated to be finalised by 3 July. …”

Report from Riotact, Canberra.

Legislation passes allowing ACT government to move ahead with plans to take over Calvary Public Hospital

“The ACT Legislative Assembly has passed a controversial bill giving the government the power to take over Calvary Public Hospital in as little as 33 days. …”

Report from ABC News.

See also:

Calvary forced into legal response to ACT Government’s legislation – Calvary, 30 May 2023.

Calvary to take legal action against ACT GovernmentCatholic Voice, 30 May 2023.

‘Favouring his mates’: Vicar reprimands PM over Calvary takeover – 2GB radio, 31 May 2023.

Image: Calvary.

Prime Minister supports Calvary compulsory takeover

“We now know that the Prime Minister of Australia, Mr Anthony Albanese, as an elected representative of the country, supports the compulsory acquisition of Calvary Hospital. This acquisition is not being done according to the rule of law or on just terms.

Can anybody imagine the great Labor Prime Ministers, John Curtin, Ben Chifley, Bob Hawke, or Paul Keating, doing such a thing?What’s at stake here is not the Labor Party, not the Catholic church, but the rights of ordinary citizens to have proper land and property rights.”

Catholic Voice.

See also:

Anthony Albanese backs Calvary Hospital takeover two days before laws set to pass – The Catholic Weekly,

“Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has backed the ACT Government takeover of Calvary Public Hospital, just two days before legislation is likely to pass the ACT Legislative Assembly. …

Australian Medical Association ACT branch president, Dr Walter Abhayaratna, wrote in a recent letter to the ACT health minister, Rachel Stephen-Smith, that the takeover sets a ‘terrible precedent’ and that senior doctors felt disrespected, shocked, dismayed and angry at the rapid takeover.

Legislation to compulsorily acquire the hospital and land was introduced into the ACT Legislative Assembly on 10 May, and will likely be passed by the Labor-Greens majority government this Wednesday, on 31 May.”

Albanese supports ACT Government on Calvary acquisitionCathNews.

Anthony Albanese intervenes to back ACT Govt on Calvary acquisitionCanberra Times (subscription).

Calvary on the cross – former Minister for Defence, Kevin Andrews, at Spectator Australia, 27 May 2023,

“The belief that this proposal is about abortion – and euthanasia, which the ACT plans to introduce – is well-founded. Is the next institution to be acquired Clare Holland House, the praised palliative care service also operated by Calvary?

This is not a Catholic issue, nor even a Christian one. If the ACT government can acquire a well-functioning, viable hospital that is providing first-rate healthcare to the populace, what else can it acquire? Independent schools? Clubs with pokies? Greyhound and horse racing tracks? The premises of organisations that oppose its political views? This is a dangerous precedent which should be resisted by everyone who values the freedoms and toleration that our polity is built upon.”

Earlier:

Catholic Archbishop ‘shocked and stunned’ at ACT’s proposed takeover of Calvary Hospital.

“the beginning of the end of freedom of conscience in Australia”

“In this crucial episode, Wendy Francis, Acting CEO of ACL, exposes the alarming attempts by the ACT government to compulsory acquire Calvary Hospital. Freedom of conscience and faith is at risk, and we cannot ignore it.

If the government succeeds with Calvary Hospital, there is serious concern, shared by many, as to which institutions could be targeted next across the country. …”

– Wendy Francis of the Australian Christian Lobby speaks plainly about the ACT Government’s move to compulsorily acquire Calvary Hospital, Bruce.

“The Government is not God.”

See also:

Say NO to the forcible takeover of Calvary Hospital – Australian Christian Lobby. (And follow the link to take action, if you desire).

“Airbags on Pokies” — The Dean of Sydney

Sandy Grant, the Dean of Sydney, writes about the choice before NSW voters this Saturday –

“Friends in Christ, I encourge you to join me in this prayer for our State, with the election of a new Parliament this Saturday, 25th March:

Almighty God and Loving Heavenly Father, we humbly ask you to direct the hearts of those who seek election to our state parliament, and of us as we exercise our democratic freedoms. May we vote unselfishly for the common good. Protect politicians from the temptation of self-serving. Enable them to make realistic promises and help them keep their word. Uphold those elected to serve in the new Parliament through all the heavy demands that come upon them, that they may serve with integrity. May the decisions of our parliaments, state and federal, lead to the safety and welfare of this country, so that peace and happiness, truth and justice may be established among us. Amen. 

As you know, I have spoken strongly in favour of reforms to prevent and minimise harm from poker machine use, which currently sees people in NSW lose $8 billion a year. That’s about $23 million per day! And the worst losses are often in the poorer areas of our city.

I have been calling for reform for almost 15 years, since I first became aware of the dreadul damage done by poker machines on their users and families.”

Read it all at the Cathedral website.

Image: If only modern poker machines took bets of just 25 cents.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet — 2023 State Election Faith Groups Town Hall

The NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet, was a guest at the 2023 State Election Faith Groups Town Hall in Parramatta on Wednesday night (22nd February 2023).

You can watch the meeting as the Premier responded to questions in the run up to the State election.

In response to a question on ‘conversion therapy’, he said,

“There is no place for harmful practices in our state. Since this issue was raised, people have raised with me examples of food deprivation, electroshock therapy. Well, those practices are wrong, and we will move to outlaw them…

At the same time, we will not ban prayer, we will not ban preaching. That is fundamental to freedom of religion in this state and in this country. We can do both. We can ban harmful practices and we can protect freedom of religion in our state…

It’s not one or the other, it’s respecting everyone’s perspectives in relation to this and having a balanced approach.”

A similar event with the State Opposition Leader, Chris Minns, is planned for next week. We’ll aim to post a link to that event as well.

Watch here. Thanks to Freedom for Faith for the video link and for the quote from the Premier.

Whose conscience deserves protection in Australia?

Yesterday, Associate Professor Neil Foster presented a short paper at the University of Notre Dame, Sydney – as part of a panel on “The Importance of Conscience”.

He’s made it available for download at Law and Religions Australia.

(Photo from a Sydney Diocese training day.)

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