March 7th 2020

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Beyond the Great Divide

EDITORIAL Holden, China, covid19: Time for industry reset

CANBERRA OBSERVED Political promises on the Never Never never never work well for the nation

CLIMATE POLITICS Business joins in climate change chorus

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Divided Democrats will help re-elect Donald Trump

GENDER POLITICS Project Nettie: Science takes on ideology

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Myth-busting China's 'soft power'

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Covid19 outbreak hits China's growth, imperils Communist Party

POLITICS AND SOCIETY What should the champions of democracy care about?

HISTORY Putting Lenin on the train: History's biggest blunder

NCC CONFERENCE 2020 Strengthening family, freedom, and sovereignty in a hostile world

HUMOUR Hooray for our premiers

MUSIC Handel: A composer who knew the value of a quick turnaround

CINEMA Emma: Handsome, clever, rich

BOOK REVIEW Useful but limited analysis of the breakdown of distinctions today

BOOK REVIEW The successive possessors of the West's first printed book




NATIONAL AFFAIRS Cardinal Pell's appeal in the High Court this week

Books promotion page

2020 Strengthening family, freedom, and sovereignty in a hostile world

by NW Contributor

News Weekly, March 7, 2020

It’s been said that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. How true in a world where it seems history, traditions, goodness and freedoms are being stepped on every day.

As part of this vigilance, it’s our duty to provide the information, insight and stories to Australians that the mainstream media doesn’t.

The Hon Kevin Andrews MP addressed
the Conference on why the Government
is considering a Magnitsky-type law to
support human rights in authoritarian states.

At the National Civic Council’s 2020 Conference, this included insight on the issues foremost in today’s cultural, social and political environments - and a plan to continue our “march through the institutions”, to ensure a stronger Australia for future generations.

A sample of the vast array of topics discussed follows.


Associate Professor Neil Foster spoke on the complex interaction between gender identity laws and basic freedoms. This talk was followed by NCC National President Patrick J Byrne, who presented a strategy for protecting exemptions for faith-based institutions over the next couple of years.

By way of introduction to this session, attendees paid tribute to Wilson Gavin, the 21-year-old Brisbane student who died in January of this year following his participation in a well-publicised protest against adult performers reading to children in a public library backed event. We have seen here that protection of the most vulnerable comes at a high cost. So, it’s imperative that we protect our own.


We heard a personal story directly from the parent of a young person who identifies as transgender. The circumstances surrounding the case paint a dim picture of just how far and how quickly the system has swung to favour the transgender worldview above biological fact, the better advice of health experts and the wellbeing of the most vulnerable in our society – children.

Queensland delegate Gabrielle Walsh, left,
with AFA national secretary Jean Westbury.

We may be eager to protect our children from undue influences but on a more practical level, every parent knows that financial issues can have a grave impact on the raising of their children.

NCC Queensland President and National Vice-President Luke McCormack, himself a father of five children aged four to 14, presented some facts behind this challenge alongside a video of local parents.

The NCC looks forward to launching the Australian Family Association’s campaign on this issue.


Peter Westmore, immediate NCC past president, attended every day of this now infamous trial, and shared his observations with the audience.

Whilst the case is ongoing, attendees appreciated the update and first-hand insight presented, complete with a complimentary copy of the NCC’s recently released ebook (authored by Peter Westmore) emailed to all attendees.

This ebook will shortly be available for purchase, and is vital reading for anyone interested in the legal implications of the case.


On Saturday afternoon, a special session was held to answer the question on everyone’s lips: What can we do about these issues?

We know that today’s culture is not one that is naturally receptive to our message. The infiltration of our institutions, the influence of culture, and the breakdown of the family and community all provide extensive obstacles.

Therefore, the National Civic Council has undertaken a targeted rebrand and consolidation of our platforms combined with a new marketing and communications plan.

Various options for involvement will be offered to everyday Australians according to their interests and needs. These options include varying levels of membership of the Australian Family Association (all with unique benefits), offers for subscription to News Weekly, increased youth programs, events and advocacy around parenting.


Alongside our faithful Movement supporters, we hosted university students, parents and those who have been directly impacted by totalitarian regimes overseas.

Some of the university
contingent of attendees.

The presence of those who had escaped the Chinese Communist Party brought home the words spoken by Dr Paul Monk during his session on “Protecting Australia from Beijing”.

“Should the Party remain in power and should its practices be further propagated, our core institutions and values will be put under pressure.”

The presence at Conference of alumni of our youth training program, Young Political Advocacy Training (YPAT), was a testament to the effectiveness of the program in forming and inspiring the next generation.

The 11th YPAT Program will take place in Brisbane from 28 June - 4 July 2020.

For more information and to apply, please see


Saturday’s Conference Dinner gave participants the opportunity to relax amidst a stimulating weekend. Live entertainment, catching up with friends and making new ones filled the evening. But the highlight of the night was guest speaker Eddy Gisonda, barrister in the recent Israel Folau case.

Conversations bridged
the generational divide.

While the commentary around this very public court case has been divisive and at times volatile, Mr Gisonda gave a purely legal perspective. He detailed the steps of the case and the expected cultural and legal change as a result of it.

He ended with the apt quote: “In the game played in heaven, it seems strange you can’t talk about hell.”


It is clear that water is one of the key issues to impact rural communities in Australia today.

While governments and the various political parties have attempted to solve this problem through a variety of policies, conference attendees were privileged to hear an expert discussion with the former chief executive/director general of the NSW Department of Water Resources and commissioner, Murray-Darling Basin Commission, Peter Millington.

Mr Millington spoke on the need to form real solutions to Australia’s water problems, quoting John Briscoe, senior water advisor at the World Bank:

“I have concluded that Australia cannot find its way in water management if this Act is the guide. I would urge the Government to start again, to re-define principles, to engage all who have a stake in this vital issue, and to produce, as rapidly as possible, a new Act which can serve Australia for generations to come.”


On the topic of drought, fire and water, former National Climate Centre at the Bureau of Meteorology Bill Kininmonth discussed varying explanations behind the apparent trend of planetary warming. He focused on ocean currents, stating that, with 70 per cent of the earth’s surface being covered in water, and the average depth being 4,000 metres, any change in global temperature can happen only slowly, with upper and lower ocean currents regulating the earth’s cooling and warming.

Three university students then shared some further sobering tales of the level of intolerance on campus for suggesting any alternate views on the climate-change issue. This shows us that climate change has gone beyond an environmental or even political concern; it has become a dogma and a tenet of accepted thought.


A country like Australia cannot thrive without long-term investment – particularly in infrastructure – in our rural areas. A panel of four expert speakers presented on this topic, including newly elected Queensland Senator Gerard Rennick.

The speakers called for plans that go beyond the election cycle and instead form the building blocks of tomorrow’s economy.


Regional infrastructure is impacted by the very land on which it is built. Xavier Martin, a grain farmer from Gunnedah, NSW, presented on this topic, sharing some sobering facts. For example, The Federal Government recently approved the purchase of a NSW mixed cropping and logistics enterprise, BFB, by a Canadian pension fund, which paid $208 million at the expense of the Agrinova consortium of local farmers who offered to pay $270 million.


The National Civic Council invites News Weekly readers to join us on this journey of advocacy and take part in building a stronger Australia for all of us.

We recommend:

1. Subscribing to News Weekly to be kept informed of the latest insights and information.

2. Joining the Australian Family Association via our new portal, to be available shortly.

3. Joining or starting a local NCC branch to partake in action in your area. For more information on this, please contact

We look forward to hearing from you.

All you need to know about
the wider impact of transgenderism on society.
TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm