Keneally and O’Farrell on politics and faith

The event was held in the NSW Parliament theatrette on February 15.

On Tuesday night I joined about 140 senior church leaders at the NSW Parliament to hear Labor Premier Kristina Keneally and Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell address the first NSW election forum convened by the Australian Christian Lobby.

Both leaders made initial statements and then took questions from church leaders.

Premier Keneally spoke of the challenge of reconciling her faith as a Catholic with political decision-making, while Mr O’Farrell emphasised that his Catholic faith was a private matter quite separate from his job as a member of parliament.

Both leaders made commitments to preserve protections for religious freedom for churches and church agencies, but backed away from endorsing key reforms on the sale of alcohol, and problem gambling.

It was clear that neither party had any intention of decriminalising abortion in NSW, or reviewing the arrangements for secular ethics classes in state schools.

In all, steady as she goes, and no surprises from either leader.

Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 20 Feb 2011.

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