The Christian Democratic Party believes that people should be able to stay true to their convictions and that freedom of belief, speech and conscience must be upheld in our democratic society. We believe that faith based organisations, such as schools and charities, should be allowed to maintain, hold on to and teach their beliefs without consequence or penalty such as losing funding due to their religious doctrine or belief. We are concerned about the gradual erosion of human rights which have always formed the basis of our civil society. Religious liberty is one of those rights. Without it, we cannot truly call our country a tolerant nation.
Scripture in Schools
SRE in schools is part of helping and supporting the holistic development and wellbeing of our young people. Scripture in schools supports the NSW Department of Education and Communities and their Wellbeing Framework for Schools, and its commitment;
“…to creating quality learning opportunities for children and young people. This includes strengthening their cognitive, physical, social, emotional and spiritual development.”
We believe that every parent should have the individual choice to allow their child the opportunity to explore their family’s faith and values. Helping to provide a well-rounded education for our students and to help create schools that promote and respect multiculturalism and different faith groups. We support the ARTD independent report in SRE, and the recommendations that will continue to improve the quality of education by our teachers, churches, and denominations.
Safe Schools Program
The Christian Democratic Party opposes the radical Safe Schools program. We have worked with the NSW Government to see this program replaced with a new broad based anti-bullying program. The CDP is committed to continuing to work to ensure that children throughout NSW are appropriately protected from any potential harmful materials in educational resources. We believe that parents are best suited to work through controversial issues with their children, as they are complex and multifaceted. We will continue to work with the Government to ensure parents are fully informed regarding this program and their child’s involvement.
NSW has approximately 1.2 million students enrolled in over 3,000 schools, with nearly 115,000 staff responsible for empowering the next generation. The children of NSW deserve high quality education, which requires not only continued funding but a high and consistent standard of teachers and syllabuses across Government, Catholic and our Christian and Independent schools. The education of NSW children is a priority for the CDP.
Source: ABS 4221.0 - Schools, Australia, 2016
The presence of TAFE as an option for the NSW population needs to be strengthened, as it fills a vital gap in higher education for school leavers and the upskilling of those already in the workforce. The CDP believes that TAFE needs continued support to ensure the vocational courses that it offers are accessible, particularly in regional areas to help reduce skill shortages.
Source: ABS 6227.0 - Education and Work, Australia, May 2016
CDP is for jobs in NSW. Whilst the NSW unemployment is 4.8%, compared with 5.7% nationally, the CDP proactively advocates for job growth, especially in regional areas where it is easier to keep a job than create a new one.
NSW has over 2.6 million full time and 1.1 million part time workers. Securing these jobs, while facilitating job growth helps support a strong economy, while also ensuring that families can put food on the table, provide stable homes and care for children.
Source: ABS 6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, May 2017
The NSW population deserves a high quality, world class health system. The CDP is committed to ensuring that every resident of NSW is able to access high quality health care in a timely manner, and no NSW resident is disadvantaged from accessing the health care they need.
The CDP understands that for this to be achieved we must support our hospitals and healthcare facilities, strengthen out commitment to quality training for our doctors, nurses and other health staff, and continued investment into health infrastructure and technology.
The Christian Democratic Party is a pro-life party. We support increased funding and support such as pregnancy crisis counselling sessions that offer practical help and positive pro-life alternatives for pregnant women, so that women do not feel abortion is their only option. We believe that God is the author of life and that human life originates at conception and should be protected, respected and valued at all ages.
The Christian Democratic Party believes that respect for human life from conception to its natural ending is not limited to Christian belief; as it is documented in the Hippocratic Oath in ancient Greece. The Hippocratic Oath states, "I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.” We believe in the importance of quality palliative care as an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness. We need to have a sensitive and equipped palliative care health system in place to ensure that patients are cared for and given the greatest opportunity for comfort.
A third of the NSW population lives in Regional areas. The needs of Regional NSW are different to our urban centres, and the CDP is committed to advocating for the people of Regional NSW.
Regional areas contribute to our state through strong agricultural, mining and manufacturing industries, as well as the experiences offered through the tourism sector for both domestic and international visitors.
It is important that Regional NSW have access to vital infrastructure and services, such as high quality hospitals and schools, and affordable water for our regional population.
CDP recognises that a reliable, safe and functional transport system is essential not only for the car and public transport users that travel to work each day, but also for the visitors who come to visit and explore NSW.
The transport portfolio also extends to freight routes, maritime users, and the maintenance and growth of our road networks. The CDP advocates for an affordable, safe and efficient transport system that improves and grows with foresight to meet the needs of NSW.
Source: ABS 1338.1 - NSW State and Regional Indicators, Dec 2010
The CDP believes that we are meant to be good stewards of the environment. This means we support sustainable use of the environment, proper conservation and to ensure improved biodiversity. We support diversified energy sources, including renewable energies, so that the residents of NSW have affordable, reliable and efficient energy supply for the future.
It is also imperative that our regional communities have access to water that is affordable.
Every individual and family need a place to call home, as this ensures stability, security and safety. With the rising cost of living, this is under threat and why the CDP is committed to tackling housing affordability, both to purchase and to rent, and to improve access to social housing, thus ensuring that every NSW resident and family has a place to call home.
Tourism is vital to the NSW economy, contributing billions in revenue and supporting thousands of jobs throughout the state. We need to continue to continue to strengthen the tourism and event sector, to attract domestic and international visitors. The NSW Government needs to continue its investment into this industry, especially into regional NSW, so visitors are attracted to all this state has to offer such as our beautiful coastlines and country towns.
Law and Order
CDP strongly advocates for the safety of NSW residents. Encouragingly, data shows that none of the major crime categories have increased in NSW over the past two years. Evidence from communities overseas shows that when there is little tolerance for petty crimes, such as graffiti there is a reduction in crime rates involving more serious crimes.
We recognise that the three-fold purposes of criminal punishment to firstly, act as a deterrent; secondly to rehabilitate and lastly to act as retribution. But that as important as ensuring adequate punishment it is, we must provide victims with a voice and compensation and work to ensure that we do all we can help remove the scourge of crimes such as child abuse and domestic violence.
Source: Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research http://www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/Pages/bocsar_news/NSW-Recroded-Crime-Statistics-Mar-2017.aspx
The CDP believes in building for the future of NSW, and that requires essential infrastructure delivered on time and with foresight. This requires partnership with State and Local Governments, as well as businesses and communities to ensure funds are used effectively and with accountability.
We also advocate that Australian steel and products are used, as well as the NSW and Australian job force are favoured to ensure increased job and economic growth.