Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 3 Hansard (9 March) . .
especially for carers. The safe schools program website offers special areas for students and parents. Parents are able to get an insight into the national safe schools framework and explore the wide range of online resources designed for parents.
This is not the secret scheme these Liberal Party extremists portray it as. The resources are clearly outlined for schools, parents and students with age appropriate resources. I am appalled—appalled, Madam Assistant Speaker—that this responsible program, responding to a recognised need in our community, has become the plaything of a leadership and factional contest in the federal Liberal Party.
I hope the Canberra Liberals can support this motion and disown the scaremongering of a few of their federal colleagues at the expense of vulnerable children. Surely we can all agree to work with teachers, students and parents to address bullying to ensure all Canberra students can learn in a safe and inclusive environment.
MR HINDER (Ginninderra) (4.05): I thank members for their contributions to the debate on the motion today. Firstly, I would like to address some of the issues raised by Mr Doszpot. It appears from his remarks that Mr Doszpot has either failed to read my motion or is having trouble understanding its intent. I may be a new member to the Assembly, Madam Assistant Speaker, but rest assured that I am well aware of the different roles and responsibilities of the commonwealth and the states and territories; I recall several months dedicated to that in my undergraduate law and politics degree. I am also well aware that the safe schools program has primarily been funded by the commonwealth.
Mr Doszpot's proposed amendment is a blunt instrument in comparison with the motion that I proposed here today. The amendment seems to distract attention from the fact that his Liberal colleagues up on the hill have been attacking a program that supports LGBTIQ young people and Canberrans at 23 schools here in Canberra. The program is a targeted support program aimed at reducing bullying of LGBTIQ people. It is not about bullying in general, which Mr Doszpot's amendment seems to be. I note that the proposed amendment fails to make any statement about or make any commitment to the support of LGBTIQ young people.
Almost half of the schools participating in the program are in Mr Doszpot's own electorate. The seven schools in my electorate stand to lose this program and this funding, and I for one will fight any potential cuts to support for my constituents. Mr Doszpot and his colleagues know as well as I do that the Turnbull government's review of the safe schools program is designed to do two things: one is to destroy the reputation of an effective program that ensures all students can learn in a safe and inclusive environment; the second is to save the federal government a few bucks because their claims about superior economic management are clearly rubbish and they are creating a record deficit. For me it is incredibly disappointing that members opposite have chosen to shirk their responsibility to Canberrans and not stand with the government in support of the Safe Schools Coalition.
I thank the Chief Minister for speaking so clearly and passionately about the importance of the Safe Schools program and reiterating our government's unequivocal support. I also thank Minister Rattenbury for his contribution and to all the other colleagues on this side of the place.
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