Statement from Bishop Philip Huggins, Chair of the Melbourne Anglican Social Responsibilities Committee

A great strength of our Australian democracy has been the range of healthy intermediary organisations between the individual and the Government of the day.

Such intermediaries are the Trade Unions, the Churches and other faith communities, the Universities, a free media, a flourishing arts community and a legal system clearly separate from the political system.

Each in its own distinct ways contributes to checks and balances against political power becoming misused. We need to take heed of the maxim: "absolute power corrupts absolutely".

Each contributes to the rich diversity and deep unity of a genuinely free society and it is crucial that the new Federal Government restrain itself from unnecessary attacks on these intermediaries, for the sake of our liberal democracy.

One intermediary vital to the health of our democracy is the ABC. Governments and other institutions must be held to account and will have nothing to fear if they operate with equity and transparency.

Accordingly, Government attacks on the integrity of the ABC must cease.

Weakening the ABC might be part of the policy platform of some so-called "think-tanks" but it is no way to sustain our democracy.
 
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For further information contact: Bishop Philip Huggins on 0418 799 515; Communications Director Roland Ashby on 9653 4215