Both Mr. Windsor and Mr. Oakeshott have expressed support for Micah Challenge and for Australia reaching the internationally agreed aid target of 0.7% of Gross National Income. Both have also expressed strong support for the MDGs alongside the priorities for their regional electorates.
National Coordinator of Micah Challenge John Beckett said "Mr. Windsor and Mr. Oakeshott are in a unique position to move debate in Parliament beyond party politics. But, despite strong support from both of them, we were concerned that they did not mention international issues as part of their framework for deciding which party to support."
Micah Challenge believes the structure and make-up of Australia's new Parliament presents Christians and Churches in Australia with an exciting opportunity to push for new policies that will bring positive change for millions of the world's poorest people.
"With the new structure of Parliament every MP's vote is of value and that means every policy issue is up for debate. In this political climate we need to make sure that our leaders prioritise the most important debates - including the needs of the poor. Australia's response to global poverty is a life and death issue for millions in our region and beyond. We are still not doing our fair share to combat poverty, so this issue needs to move to the top of the priority list."
On Sunday 10 October (10.10.10) Micah Challenge is providing churches with the opportunity to engage their new MP early in this election cycle. Churches are invited to set aside time in their services to join with an estimated 100 million Christians around the world to pray for an end to poverty. Make a handprint on a giant canvas as a sign of your personal promise to fight poverty, and then deliver that canvas as a creative petition to your newly elected MP, asking them to make that same commitment.
"With just five years to go until the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, this election cycle is the time for us to renew our commitment to the call of the Prophet Micah that we pursue justice, be passionate about kindness and walk humbly with God."
Resources for 10.10.10 are available on the Micah Challenge website at www.micahchallenge.org.au/micah2010