According to the ABC's Gippsland regional web-page, Anglican Bishop of Gippsland John McIntyre has defended his decision to appoint an openly gay priest to the parish of Heyfield. 

McIntyre's defense comes after a group calling itself the Anglican Defense League declared the appointment was contrary to the resolutions of the 1998 Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops.  The Bishop stated the Lambeth resolution pertained only to the ordination of gay priests, whereas the priest in question in the present case was already ordained.

According to the ABC website, Bishop McIntyre said: "If they think that I have acted against the Lambeth resolution, they need to think again, because I didn't actually ordain this man. He was ordained over 30 years ago in the diocese of Melbourne."

Importantly, the page also cites Bishop McIntyre as stating that there exists within the Church a wide diversity of views about the place of gay and lesbian people within the church, and that the issue of sexuality is a matter of ongoing discussion and debate.

The full story can be found here:
Anglican Bishops
Australia's security intelligence service, ASIO, has been accused of heavy handed tactics in its attempts to recruit agents from within the Muslim community, leading to disquiet and resentment among Australian Muslims.

According to the Age Online news site, Islamic Society of Victoria secretary Baha Yehia claims the Society has been aware of attempts to recruit young Muslim men as informants for at least two years.  The recruitment effort has been accompanied by an implication that a failure to co-operate with ASIO would result in criminal charges being laid, leading to disquiet and distress in the Muslim community.

According to the report, ASIO's recruitment drive has centred on the Preston Mosque in Melbourne.  In 2008, a number of men associated with the mosque were convicted on terrorism charges.  The Age reports that ASIO's tactics have included continuously ringing and pestering targeted recruits over the phone, or conducting interviews in which the interviewee was questioned by multiple ASIO agents.

The report cites Mr Yehia as saying: ''What we are not happy with is when they attack people from the community for no reason. It's random.''

The full report can be found here:
According to the National Assembly website of the Uniting Church in Australia, the UCA has today announced its strong support for the proposal that asylum seekers should be allowed to live within the community while their claims are processed.

UCA President Rev. Alistair Macrae is quoted as saying: “The evidence is clear that locking people in immigration detention damages them. It’s contrary to all decency to continue to lock up children and vulnerable families for months and even years.

Macrae expressed concerns about media reports that asylum seekers were receiving handouts at community expense.

“We are appalled by the stories in today’s Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun which give the mistaken impression that asylum seekers in community detention are living in luxury. Nothing could be further from the truth.", Mr Macrae said.

"Whatever their intention, these stories serve only to spread prejudice and misunderstanding."

Macrae added that Australia detention centres have been proven to damage people’s wellbeing.

“Community detention is the only humane option to ensure that these children and other vulnerable men and women are not further traumatised after seeking asylum here in Australia,” Mr Macrae said.

The UCA's full statement can be found here:
Uniting Church Statement
Conservative Christian Pastor and head of the "Catch the Fire Ministries", Danny Nalliah, has launched a new political party, Rise Up Australia.

According to the Age Online news site, Mr Nalliah's new party will concentrate on opposing multiculturalism.

The Age Online cites Sri Lankan born Mr Nalliah as stating that although he supports Australia being "multi-etnic", in his view it has only one culture - a culture born from "common sense" and democracy.

Mr Nalliah has been a figure of controversy in the past, having been the subject of an official complaint from the Islamic Council of Victoria that he vilified Muslims (which was later dismissed), and drawing wide-spread condemnation for a statement after the Black Saturday bushfires that the tragedy was a punishment from God for Australian's tolerance of homosexuals.

Rise Up Australia is expected to field candidates in for both the House of Representatives and the Senate in Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania at the 2013 federal Election, and candidates for the Senate in other States.