Abbott's call for youth to conform

AUSTRALIA’S youth are generally dismissive of society’s fundamental values, which Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says is wrong.

A politician whose off-the-cuff remarks have attracted as much attention as his policies, Mr Abbott laid his cards on the table for the youth of Australia who may be put off by his conservative values.

During his visit to Lismore yesterday, Mr Abbott told The Northern Star young people are more curious then ever.

“What I have to offer young people is an opportunity to re-engage with the fundamental views of our society,” he said.

“Young people are dismissive of these values we are founded on, which is wrong.”

Mr Abbott has made his strong Catholic beliefs known to the public, as he has with his views on homosexuality.

In an interview aired on 60 Minutes this year, Mr Abbott answered a question on what he felt about homosexuals by responding ‘threatened’.

He now admits his controversial gaff was a mistake, but still says the union of a man and woman is fundamental to marriage.

“It was a bad choice of language,” Mr Abbott said. “It was wrong to say and I have apologised.

“This (marriage being only between man and woman) is something which has been really central to all societies for all time. We are evolving all the time, but you cannot name me a society where this is not the case.”

Jessica Crawford, 20, from Tregeagle, is getting ready to cast her first vote at the next election.

“I don’t like the whole political system as it is,” she said.

“As long as they have a two-party opposing system I am not going to like it.

“I think Tony Abbott is outrageous.”

The visual arts student said Mr Abbott’s remarks about abortion where unwarranted.

In 2006, Mr Abbott wasreported saying Australia has bizarre double standards where a person can be convicted of murder for killinga pregnant woman, but a woman who aborts an unborn baby is simply exercising choice.

“I have said a lot of things, but know that for abortion, if it ever comes before the Parliament, it’s a conscience vote,” he said.

“I have never wanted todo anything other than to empower people to make the right choice.”

Politics aside, one youngvoter from Alstonville, who declares herself ‘free choice’, simply does not like the Coalition leader’s choice of attire.

“I don’t like his choice of fashion at the beach – his budgie smugglers,” Rebecca Mills, 20, said.

New $3m school hall a rip-off

A NEW $3 million school hall in Alstonville is ‘a rip-off and a rort’, Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said yesterday.

Mr Abbott met with theAlstonville Public School P&C committee president Scott Turner yesterday morning to discuss the price blow-out on construction costs for the new hall and the fact it only accommodated half of the school’s students.

“It’s a rip-off and it’s a rip-off of taxpayers’ dollars,” he said.

“The tragedy of this project is that it wasn’t managed with the money going through the school community.

“It’s pretty clear the par-ents and school here could have got a much bigger hall if they were managing it themselves.”

The Building the Education Revolution (BER) program awarded $16.2 billion to schools across the county to fund new infrastructure.

The program has comeunder fire as stories of over-priced buildings and funding shortfalls have emerged.

Mr Turner said the primary school was supposed to have two new classrooms, but after the hall was built they were told there was no money left.

“We believe we should have been able to build the hall for somewhere around $2 million,” Mr Turner said.

“The parents are frustrated because we have a number of people who work in the building industry that see no value for money here.

“If the school wants to have a function, we don’t have avenue for it. You’d think when you have a hall it would fit all the students.”

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