Our justice teams have put together the following questions to help you ask questions of your local candidates and to provide you with a way to evaluate what candidates are saying.

We hope these questions resource you as you engage with Candidates whether in personal conversations, at forums, or over email. We’ve provided five questions for each justice and campaign area and if you support all Common Grace’s justice and campaign areas we’ve come up with five overall questions. If you are sending the questions in an email to candidates - just copy and paste!

We'd love to hear how you go!

If you are passionate about all Common Grace’s justice and campaign areas:

I am one of 42,613 Australian Christians that are part of the Common Grace movement. We are passionate about Jesus & Justice. I will vote for a candidate who shows #CommonGrace. With that in mind could you please answer the following questions:

  1. Peoples seeking asylum justice - How will you provide protection and freedom for people seeking safety on our shores?
  2. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice - How will you support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in their long standing calls for justice?
  3. Creation and Climate justice - What strong policy action will you take to protect our next generations from the worst impacts of climate change?
  4. Domestic and Family Violence - When women who want to escape violent relationships reach out for help, too often there is none available. What help will you provide so they can be safe?
  5. We long to see deep listening and generosity toward the marginalised in our nation. How will you show more common grace in the way you govern?

If you are passionate about justice for peoples seeking asylum:

I am one of 42,613 Australian Christians that are part of the Common Grace movement. We are passionate about Jesus & Justice. I will vote for a candidate who shows #CommonGrace. I am specifically concerned for peoples seeking asylum.

As Christians, we believe in justice and redemption and we believe this is something to bring about now and together in community. For Australia and our politics how do we see redemption coming for us as a nation after we have perpetrated such great harm and evil against vulnerable people seeking safety with us. How do we as a nation regain our soul in this? How do we put this right?

What is the most compassionate and humane approach we can have to people seeking asylum in Australia?

How will you provide protection and freedom for people seeking safety on our shores?

With all of this in mind could you please specifically answer the following questions:

  1. Australia’s offshore detention program has caused significant harm to the lives of people seeking asylum over a period of many years. What is your policy to end the cruelty of offshore processing?
  2. A just and fair asylum process requires adequate access to legal services, social supports and independent review, rights which have been denied to people seeking asylum under the newly implemented “fast-track” process. How will you work to restore access to a fair process for people seeking asylum?
  3. Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) holders do not have the same access to services, rights and residency or citizenship pathways as refugees who hold a Permanent Protection Visa (PPV) . How will you end the limbo and uncertainty of temporary protection?
  4. There is currently an enormous global need for resettlement of refugees fleeing war, persecution and terror. Will you increase our humanitarian program to more generously contribute to durable solutions for the world’s refugees?
  5. Current policies mean that many people seeking asylum and refugees have been separated from their families for long, and potentially indefinite, periods of time. How will you provide refugees the dignity of family reunification?

If you are passionate about justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples:

I am one of 42,613 Australian Christians that are part of the Common Grace movement. We are passionate about Jesus & Justice. I will vote for a candidate who shows #CommonGrace. I am specifically concerned for justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

As Christians, we believe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are, and always have been created in the image of the Creator. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have an ancient and important God-appointed role as custodians in these lands now called Australia. For too long this nation of Australia has not listened to, and not sought justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We are tired of waiting for a Treaty and treaties over 250 years overdue, we grieve at the lives lost due to lack of action and investment to Close the Gap, implement recommendations to stop Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, and we fight for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be embraced as the world’s oldest living continuing cultures. How will Australia repent of its sins of Stolen Land, Stolen Wages, and Stolen Lives? How will our nation embrace the world’s oldest living continuing cultures? How will Australia wake up to the fact that for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples this is not the land of the “fair go”?

How will you support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in their long standing calls for justice?

With all of this in mind could you please specifically answer the following questions:

  1. The 2019 NAIDOC Week theme is "Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s work together for a shared future", which echoes the decades long calls of many generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. How will you work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for a shared future, and in particular, support the calls for Treaty and Treaties, and a Truth-Telling Commission?
  2. The closing the gap targets were established over 10 years ago and Australia has failed to Close the Gap. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continue to die to young, and too often, and face overrepresentation in the prison system. How will you ensure Australia actively works, and sufficiently funds, the responsibility, to Close the Gap?
  3. Since 1 January 2019 we have had 35 Aboriginal people suicide, this is a national emergency. What steps will you take to addressing the national emergency of Aboriginal suicide?
  4. Climate change and rising sea levels are impacting the lands and waters of Australia and having real and tangible impacts on Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities and Aboriginal peoples and communities in Northern Australia. Aboriginal communities are also being severely affected by the drying up of the Murray-Darling system. How will you protect our environment and tackle the real effects of climate change as it affects Australia’s lands and waters and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples?
  5. We have been waiting as a nation since 1991 for the 339 recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody to be implemented. This requires cooperation between Federal, State and Territory governments. How will you actively work towards implementing the long standing recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody so that Aboriginal peoples stop dying in custody?

If you are passionate about and support the Domestic and Family Violence campaign:

I am one of 42,613 Australian Christians that are part of the Common Grace movement. We are passionate about Jesus & Justice. I will vote for a candidate who shows #CommonGrace. I am specifically concerned about Domestic and Family Violence.

As Christians, we believe the vision Jesus gives us is of a community where the vulnerable are protected, the wounded are healed, and the powerful serve. That’s why we believe that our communities should be a haven from violence, where victims are believed and perpetrators held accountable. Yet every three minutes a woman is hospitalised due to Australia's domestic violence crisis. Every week a woman dies. We keep hearing people say “why didn’t she just leave?” But when women do leave their partners, they’re jumping into a safety net that’s full of holes, with the demand for refuges so high that every second woman is now turned away. It’s just not good enough. When will decision-makers get serious about addressing this national emergency and finally support our dangerously underfunded frontline services, so that anyone escaping abuse can find help when they need it? When will our government care about saving women’s lives as much as our community does?

When women who want to escape violent relationships reach out for help, too often there is none available. What help will you provide so they can be safe?

With all of this in mind could you please specifically answer the following questions:

  1. Every five days a woman is killed by a man who claims to have loved her. That’s 10 women this year so far. Will your government finally declare these domestic violence rates a national emergency and fully fund services to make saving lives a reality?
  2. When masculinity is defined by using power, we get violence. What will your government do to prevent gender-based violence?
  3. Australia could lead the world on women’s equality but we need leaders who are brave enough to make that a priority. How will your government rise to the challenge and achieving a fair and equal future for all women?
  4. One in five Australians believe violence can be excused if the perpetrator later regrets it. How will your government work to change attitudes that excuse, trivialise, and normalise abuse?
  5. Blaming victims is a common way the media reports on domestic violence. How will your government change the inaccurate and sexist media reporting about violence against women?

If you are passionate about and support the Creation and Climate Justice campaign and justice for those facing ecological degradation and climate disruption:

I am one of 42,613 Australian Christians that are part of the Common Grace movement. We are passionate about Jesus & Justice. I will vote for a candidate who shows #CommonGrace. I am specifically concerned about Creation and Climate justice.

As Christians, we believe that God loves the world and everything in it, that Jesus came to live as a creature amongst creatures in order to reconcile all things to God, and that the Spirit of Life blows in the living breath we all share. That’s why we are grieved and alarmed by the widespread, worsening and shalom-wrecking ecological and climate harms visible in Australia and beyond. Federal government policies, long inadequate to prevent the squandering of our planet’s shared riches for the sake of short-term profits for the few, have significantly deteriorated in recent years. How can we transform our national policies, culture, economy and infrastructure to make our contribution to a more just and stable world? How can we keep our government accountable as we strive to love our neighbour as ourselves: our poor neighbours, our non-human neighbours, and those neighbours in generations yet to be born?

What strong policy action will you take to protect us from the worst impacts of climate disruption?

With all of this in mind could you please specifically answer the following questions:

  1. The IPCC have warned that we only have 11 years to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly increase the risk of extreme weather events, poverty and displacement of millions of people. The Paris commitments so far are less than a third of what is needed to have even a 50:50 chance of achieving this, and Australia’s targets are particularly inadequate, if we are to level the playing field for poorer nations. What do you think is the scientifically credible, and morally proper target for Australia, and what specific climate policies will you deliver to ensure that we meet it?
  2. Our Indigenous communities in parts of the Torres Strait Islands and Northern Australia are already feeling the impacts of climate change. How are you working with our Indigenous leaders and communities, across Australia, to build a resilient national response to climate change that protects their communities and Australia’s threatened ecosystems?
  3. Australia is experiencing an increase in extreme weather events and in the last 12 months alone, faced significant environmental disasters including the ongoing drought across NSW and the drying up of the Murray-Darling river system. How will you act to help Australia respond to these environmental emergencies now and into the future?
  4. Since 1970, 60% of the world’s vertebrate populations have been wiped out, and Australia is one of the worst offenders. We are the only wealthy nation in the top ten worst deforesters. What policy and laws will you enact to strengthen biodiversity protection, halt land clearing, and protect all remaining native forest? Will you ensure that native forest cannot be classified as “renewable” fuel?
  5. Australia’s largest contribution to destabilising the climate and worsening the air pollution that kills millions of people every year is our export of coal. We export more coal than any other nation and this means that the emissions from Australian fossil fuels result in carbon pollution more than twelve times the global average per capita contribution. What will you do to ensure a rapid phase out of coal export and mining, while taking due account of the workers who will be affected by this?

 

Wondering how to email your candidates?

Check the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to see the list of all candidates in your electorate (re-check periodically as the list does change) - https://www.aec.gov.au/profiles/index.htm

Wikipedia also has a full list of the candidates running in your electorate.

Use the AEC website to search for contact details (also search via Google and Facebook – more and more candidates use social media).