6th September, 2013

The New South Wales Council of Churches has urged voters to consider the "moral implications" of party policies as they go to cast their vote tomorrow.

Voters are "encouraged to consider the moral teachings of their faith and apply an ethical test to party policies as they cast their votes on Saturday", the organisation said in a statement.

Council president, Rev Dr Ross Clifford, said the council "strongly" supported the "Biblical principle of marriage exclusively between one man and one woman" and said they "deplored" Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's "recent about-face on the definition of marriage".

"We reject his argument that the Biblical teaching on Christian love implies the need to endorse proposals to radically change the meaning of marriage for future generations," he said.

The organisation added that neither of the major parties had asylum seeker policies that "satisfied biblical teaching and Christian responsibility" and urged both to adopt more compassionate immigration policies.

"Punishing rather than protecting asylum seekers is unacceptable for a developed nation with a strong economy and a responsibility to uphold its international human rights obligations," said Rod Benson, public affairs director for the council.

The council noted that the issue of gambling reform had received too little attention during the election campaign and urged politicians of all parties to maintain existing foreign aid budget levels and to call for increased funding to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

~ http://nswchs.com

- DAVID ADAMS