Micah Challenge Australia Blog

 

The Micah Challenge blog is a space for discussion and debate about the issues of global poverty, faith, advocacy and justice and the Millennium Development Goals. This blog aims to provoke thought and challenge you to learn more about the issues discussed. We welcome your comments.

Micah Challenge is a global campaign of Christians speaking out against poverty and injustice. Click here to visit the Micah Challenge website.

  • Disillusioned? Some perspective please!

    Posted by John

    14 August, 2013

    Are you feeling disillusioned at the current state of the political landscape as we approach the election? If you are, the anecdotal evidence is pretty compelling that you’re not alone. I could count more than 20 conversations I’ve had with people over the last week who are feeling less than inspired at the prospect of casting their vote in a few weeks time. The same feeling was represented in a recent article that did the social network rounds from a young journalist named Kate Midena. In it Kate outlines her perspectives on various Party positions, then finishes with these words: ‘What do I do? Who do I vote for? There seems no real point of difference between our major parties, and it leaves me at a loss. I don't want to cast an informal vote, and I want to play a part in our nation's future. But at what cost? If I lean one way, I'll be damaging people who come to this country to seek refuge; if I lean the other, I'll be putting thousands of kids in public schools and the welfare of poor Australia at risk.I know that the… read more

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  • Australia: tax leader or tax laggard?

    Posted by Mark

    12 August, 2013

    Tax dodging by multinational companies puts a brake on reducing poverty by denying governments in developing countries adequate revenue to provide for their people. The Federal Government recently released its broad outline on what it proposes to do to address tax dodging. While the Government acknowledges there are tax problems for developing countries, it is not seeking to be a leader in finding solutions. The report notes that, “Australia has a clear national interest in and seeks to support the development of other countries”; however, the focus will remain on protecting Australia’s own tax system from tax dodging. By cracking down on tax dodging in Australia, the Government will help ensure it has enough in its pocket to meet its promises to lift the aid budget. However, just relying on aid does not allow developing countries a stable pathway out of poverty. Curbing tax dodging by multinational corporations is essential if they are to be able to collect enough tax to fund the essential needs of their people. The Government report made… read more

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  • Skate to the Finish - An Unexpected Journey

    Posted by Micah Challenge

    7 August, 2013

    Riding a BMX between the two major cities of the Flynn electorate - Emerald and Gladstone - may not be the most efficient way to cover 475km, but Michael Trafford has proved it to be very effective in other ways. Here he shares the inspiring journey that Finish the Race has taken him on. The journey was a great way to highlight how inadequate Australia’s current foreign aid giving is if we really are committed to the task of Halving Poverty by 2015. It opened the door to many opportunities and over the past three weeks I have had the incredible privilege of speaking to over 2000 school students in 30 schools throughout Central Queensland, as well as 1000 or so more in local churches along the way. During the three-week campaign our audiences varied greatly from speaking to nearly 1000 students one day, to 6 primary school students (who incidentally were the entire school population) the next. I was impressed and encouraged by the many teachers who contacted us after the talks to ask for more information or to let us know that their class had written a… read more

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  • Election day announced - Call to prayer

    Posted by John

    5 August, 2013

    I’m no political junkie, but there are a couple of political boffins in our office who are very excited today! If you haven't heard, an election has been called for September 7. The boffins will be colouring their electorate maps in red and blue and watching ABC News in their lunch breaks! As the election approaches, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned. It’s been a tough year for the Movement to End Poverty as we have challenged the Government to finish well as the 2015 deadline for the MDGs approaches. The evidence that either of the major parties is wholeheartedly committed to a generous and effective aid program is less than convincing. On the Government side, we’ve seen three major cuts to aid spending in the last 15 months – the latest coming last Friday as Treasurer Chris Bowen announced further cuts to aid totalling $879 million over the next four years in response to reduced revenue projections and the increased costs of their asylum seeker policies. Each time there has been pressure on the budget, the people who manage… read more

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