Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 24 August 2017) . . Page.. 3407 ..
Mrs Kikkert has come into this place and tried to undermine the safe schools program again. I am not sure whether it is because she does not understand the safe schools program. Her comments give me the sense that she does not understand the nature of the program and how it supports high schools to make them more inclusive for LGBTIQ students. She has never pointed out any specific issue with the safe schools resources; so it is difficult to know what her issues are with the program.
Mrs Kikkert has also made some specific comments that I find to be shocking and that do not reflect the safe schools program. Her claim that teachers are grooming children for sex is deeply disturbing. If what she says has any basis in evidence, then it is incumbent on her to go to the appropriate authorities with the information that she has. It is simply untenable to hang such serious matters out in the Assembly under privilege and not to have them addressed. If she is not willing to refer those matters to the appropriate body, then I respectfully ask her withdraw her comments in this place in the adjournment debate this evening.
This is a very serious accusation of criminal conduct which she has an obligation to raise with the police immediately. If she has not raised this with the police, then she must be obligated to retract this disgraceful comment. If there is no evidence, then this sort of conduct in the Assembly I believe is unbecoming of a member of this place.
I also call on the Leader of the Opposition to counsel Mrs Kikkert on this matter. This incident is a poor reflection on the Canberra Liberals and the opposition leader must come out and address this matter. Using children’s safety and inclusion in government institutions for political pointscoring is not acceptable and bringing the reputation of teachers in schools which are part of the safe schools program into disrepute without sufficient evidence is also totally unacceptable.
We all in this place have a leadership role in the community. Chief among our responsibilities is not to politicise children’s safety and also not to peddle hatred against the most vulnerable in our society. The Deputy Chief Minister put it perfectly this morning when she said that we stand by every LGBTIQ kid. That is what leadership looks like. I hope that Mr Coe shows his leadership and brings his MLAs into line.
Australian public service—impact of relocations
MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (6.02): I want to take a few moments to update the Assembly on two important petitions I am running. We have heard a lot over the past two weeks about the ACT government’s investment in this city and I am incredibly proud of this work. Regrettably, though, despite his own citizenship being in doubt, Barnaby Joyce’s idea of the decentralisation of the Australian public service out of Canberra remains a live threat for many Canberrans and their families.
Almost 500 Canberrans have now signed my petition supporting APS jobs remaining in Canberra, the capital of Australia and the heart of the Australian public service. Almost 500 Canberrans have made clear that any proposed decentralisation is not good for them and it is not good for Canberra.