Australian bishop calls on politicians to clean up their act

06 May 2016

iSTOCK

High stakes: Parliament House, Canberra

High stakes: Parliament House, Canberra

ONE of Melbourne’s regional bishops, the Rt Revd Philip Huggins, has called on Australia’s political leaders to meet privately with the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, to find a way to prevent the forthcoming federal election campaign “descending into the negativity and blaming that has marked Australian political discourse in recent years”.

Bishop Huggins believes that such a meeting with the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and the leader of the Federal Opposition, Bill Shorten, could be a “nation-building demonstration of leadership”. Bishop Huggins, who is convener of the General Synod Refugee and Asylum Seeker Working Group, said that the meeting might enable a consensus on urgent and divisive problems such as asylum-seekers.

Other matters he identified for discussion were “combating terrorism without radicalising disengaged youth, promoting social cohesion and multi-culturalism, and properly recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait people in the [Australian] Constitution”.

It is expected that the Prime Minister will call on the Governor-General within days to call a federal election for 2 July.

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