The ACT Labor Party has committed to discarding reforms to Safe Schools that were recommended following a Commonwealth review into the controversial program.
In its response to the Australian Christian Lobby’s election questionnaire, the ACT Labor Government says it was ‘committed to funding the program as it stands’.
“The conditions now imposed on the program by the Commonwealth are so onerous and restrictive as to render the Safe Schools Program completely unworkable and that is why we have committed to funding the program as it stands,” the ACT Labor response says.
ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said most Canberrans would be disappointed to hear that ACT Labor intends to continue to provide children access to the Safe Schools promoted Minus18 website. This website includes controversial practices such as penis tucking for boys and chest binding for girls.
This was deemed inappropriate by the Turnbull Government which ordered its removal from the program.
“Another of the Commonwealth directives stated that parents should have the right to determine what their children are being taught,” Mr Shelton said.
“The Commonwealth also stipulated that ‘Safe Schools’ material was unsuitable for primary schools, yet the ACT Government appeared to be ignoring this directive.
The ACT Liberals said they would implement the recommendations of the Commonwealth’s review but they would not remove the program which teaches children that their gender is fluid and encourages schools to allow boys identifying as girls to use the girls’ toilets.
“It is disappointing that both major parties are ignoring academic evidence discrediting the gender and queer theory underpinning the so-called ‘Safe Schools’ program,” Mr Shelton said.
While all parties taking part in the election were sent the ACL questionnaire, responses came from the Greens, Labor, the Liberals, Liberal Democrats and Sustainable Australia. These are available on the ACL website.
The questionnaire covered policy issues on poker machine harm, offensive ‘Wicked Campers’-style advertising on vehicles, free speech in relation to abortion, removing ‘mother’ and ‘father’ from children’s birth certificates and “Safe Schools”.
The ACT Election responses can be viewed here.