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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 12 April 2018) . . Page.. 1368 ..

development increasing, it is important that the building system is right for everyone, and I welcome this inquiry.

Education, Employment and Youth Affairs—Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (12.13): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Youth Affairs relating to petition No 21-17, safe schools program, as referred to the committee pursuant to standing order 99A on 24 August 2017.

As signatories to petition No 21-17, safe schools program, 998 residents of the ACT have sought to draw to the attention of the Assembly that:

Many ACT residents and their families have serious concerns about the political and social agenda of Safe Schools Coalition, SSCA, the safe schools program, SSP, they have created and materials children will be exposed to.

The petitioners have concerns about the veracity of the research presented to justify the use of SSP in ACT schools.

The petitioners feel greatly concerned that SSCA materials and associated resources are inappropriate and could lead to more identity confusion and anxiety in developing children.

The petitioners therefore requested the Assembly to call on the ACT Chief Minister and ACT education minister to stop any and all current and future ACT government support and funding to the Safe Schools Coalition program. The petitioners further requested the removal of the SSP and associated resources from ACT schools where it may already be in use.

The committee notes that the Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development responded to the petition, under standing order 100, on 28 November 2017. In her response the minister advised the Assembly that “concerns in this petition are based on inaccurate information and misconceptions on what has been delivered in ACT schools to date”.

In considering this petition the committee requested, and was provided with, a briefing by Education Directorate officials on 3 April 2018. The briefing was aimed at better understanding the ACT government’s safe and inclusive schools initiative and how this differs from the Safe Schools Coalition Australia program.

The committee was advised that the Safe Schools Coalition Australia program ceased operating in the ACT in October 2016. The ACT government also committed in 2016 to developing an ACT-specific initiative which is distinct in many ways from the Safe Schools Coalition Australia program.

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