Stop the Loss, a new campaign that raises awareness about the damage problem gambling has in the community, launched today. The campaign features the image of a young girl whose parents aren’t home to care for her, feed her, or help with her homework. Speaking on behalf of the Coalition, Tim Costello said the ads are a powerful reminder that poker machines cause real harm that had to be matched with real reform. “Poker machine addiction is tearing thousands of Australian families apart and these new ads reflect this devastation through the eyes of a child,” Rev Costello said. “Every year $12 billion is sucked out of Australian pockets and into poker machines with 40 per cent of the losses coming from around 100,000 addicts. These people are losing their jobs, their marriages, their homes and in too many tragic cases their lives.” After appearing to double-cross Independent MP and pokie reform campaigner Andrew Wilkie when it picked up new votes in the lower house, promising instead to introduce a mandatory pre-commitment trial after 2014 instead of passing legislative reform before the end of the government’s term. Today Mr Wilkie pulled his support for the watered down measures, saying he would only get on board again if amendments were made and machines came both pre-commitment and $1 bet limit ready after 2014.
Here’s the new campaign from Stop the Loss:
Some Victorian parents are taking the school system to court, arguing their children should learn about all religions in school or none at all. Fairness in Religions in School believes “Sunday school lessons” by church volunteers should be replaced by “culturally diverse and unbiased” classes. The group is taking the Victorian Department of Education to the state civil administrative tribunal in a hearing scheduled to last seven days.
Parents’ group spokesman Scott Hedges said the case did not oppose teaching Christianity in schools, but sought to ensure religious studies was culturally diverse and unbiased.
“We are parents who feel this hurts our children,” Mr Hedges said. “The Government is allowing church volunteers to use the schools effectively to teach a Sunday school lesson.
“What we want is religion taught by teachers as cultural studies.”
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