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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 3 Hansard (9 March) . .

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for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse people by reducing homophobic and transphobic bullying and discrimination in schools.

The Foundation for Young Australians has developed the SSCA and works with state and territory education providers and service delivery partners to implement the program. Twenty-three schools in the ACT have chosen to introduce the safe schools program into their schools. It is not a compulsory course and it is at the discretion and determination of the school board, the principal and the school community to make such decisions.

My office, and probably the offices of all MLAs in this place, has been approached by parents on both sides of the argument giving their views—some well-intentioned, some a little inaccurate as to the actual content of the program. Some of the material that is not part of the program but linked to it is certainly questionable. For that reason, if not any other, it is entirely sensible that the program and its links be examined as part of the review to see whether that is an appropriate use of public moneys and whether it is in the best interests of students in our schools and their families.

That is why the federal government, who funds the program, has decided to review it: to examine the program's objectives and its impact in schools. As I said, that is an entirely appropriate course of action. I suggest that Mr Hinder might wait to see what the outcomes of that informed independent review are before reaching any conclusions.

Let me reiterate: it is a federal program. It is optional as to whether a school decides to introduce it and the program is currently the subject of a federal review, which is appropriate for any program that attracts taxpayer dollars. Perhaps had such scrutiny been applied to pink batts and BER programs we might not have had the disastrous consequences to human life and the financial consequences that the former federal Labor Party presided over.

That said, let me say to the Assembly that I find it somewhat hypocritical for someone from that side of the chamber to come into this place and lecture us on this side about bullying—and worse, bullying in schools.

Mr Gentleman: Point of order, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Gentleman on a point of order.

MR GENTLEMAN: My understanding is that the term "hypocritical" when used in regard to another member is—

MADAM SPEAKER: No, it is not unparliamentary. There is no point of order. Mr Doszpot will continue on the question that the motion be agreed to.

MR DOSZPOT: So, that said, let me say to the Assembly that I find it somewhat hypocritical for someone from that side of the chamber to come into this place and lecture us on this side about bullying—and worse, bullying in schools. But in doing so, he failed to recognise that bullying has many variations and he has chosen a narrow definition.


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