Please tell us a little about yourself – your upbringing, family, interests etc.
My name is Robert Brokenshire. I am a farmer, husband, father of three grown children and grandfather of five. I have been involved in the South Australian Parliament since 1993. I was raised on a dairy farm and continue to be involved in this industry, farming at Mount Compass with my wife Mandy and son Nick.
What are the two top priorities that you want to achieve for your electorate?
I am dedicated to families and communities and committed to guarding the strong social values that South Australia was founded on. I am determined to see that South Australia is given every opportunity to flourish economically and that regional areas are given the recognition and support they deserve.
No one wants to see any child bullied at school for any reason. But recent anti-bullying program seem to have gone beyond this aim. Do you agree with state funding of the SHINE SA Safe Schools program which applies contested and scientifically unsound gender theory into all SA state schools without the need for parental consent? The program also seems to promote radical LGBTIQ concepts to children without parental consent.
My colleague Dennis Hood and I were two of the first political voices raising concern about the Safe Schools program and we will continue to do so.
I do not support radical gender theology being taught in our schools. I certainly do not support SHINE SA providing the Safe Schools program in our schools and even more so I don’t support this teaching being at the cost of the taxpayer.
Before Parliament rose at the end of 2017, I filed an amendment to the Education and Children’s Services Bill which would have ensured the Safe Schools program, or any subsequent renamed program, could not form part of the mandatory curriculum and would require all parents to opt-in prior to their child’s attendance. The bill did not pass the Parliament but if re-elected, I will ensure that I file amendments regarding Safe Schools for any future bills. Parents need to be aware what their children are being taught and should give informed consent before their child attends lessons where social values and gender theology is taught.
Bullying is endemic in our society and unfortunately our school yards are filled students who have horrendous tales of bullying. I support a strategic anti-bullying approach in schools which targets anti-social and unacceptable behaviour. The Safe Schools program does not achieve this and I will continue to campaign for it to be abolished.
If elected will you support an independent inquiry into the implementation of the SHINE SA Safe Schools program and the mandating of the Supporting Same sex attracted, Intersex and Gender Diverse Students Policy November 2016: and the Transgender and Intersex Students Support Procedure November 2016?
I would support an independent inquiry into these matters.
The SA parliament has unsuccessfully attempted to reform prostitution law in SA for many years. It is clear that prostitution degrades women by objectifying them as commodities for men’s sexual gratification. Internationally, policies discouraging demand for sexual services are proving to be the most effective way of limiting both the size of and the harms resulting from prostitution. The progressive “Nordic model” criminalises the buyer of sex, not the provider, and provides viable pathways for those wishing to exit prostitution. Would you support a Nordic Model Bill in the next parliament to help vulnerable women in SA?
I support the Nordic Model and have actively campaigned for its introduction in South Australia.
I was a member of the Statutes Amendment (Decriminalisation of Sex Work) Bill Select Committee, which considered the most recent push to decriminalise prostitution in South Australia. In my dissenting statement, I noted that the Nordic Model provides a better solution than decriminalisation.
It was a privilege to serve on that Committee and to fight for the disadvantaged, marginalised and vulnerable people who frequently find themselves trapped in prostitution.
Euthanasia has been rejected by SA parliaments on 15 occasions. Would you oppose or support any future attempts to legalise euthanasia in SA?
I adamantly oppose euthanasia and will not support it in any form.
According to Palliative Care SA about 6000 South Australians will die this year without adequate palliative care. Would you support:
- Increased funding for palliative care in this State?
- an inquiry into improving end of life treatment for South Australians and in particular into how palliative care may be improved?
I support an inquiry into end-of-life treatment for South Australians with a view to determining how palliative care may be improved. People who find themselves in the unfortunate situation of needing to access palliative care should not be burdened
with an under-funded system. Australian Conservatives are committed to investment in palliative care resources as we believe that every person is entitled to access the best medical care they can during the last stages of illness no matter where they live
or their economic circumstances. Palliative care is extremely important and should be adequately resourced and Australian Conservatives are calling for a further $24.5 million investment to improve access to palliative care services. Our policy is also for
a properly funded collaboration between the palliative care industry, medical specialist and the SAHMRI in order to deliver a system of best practice palliative care initiatives that would make South Australia world experts and leaders in the field.
Drugs continue to wreak havoc in our community. Some are suggesting the decriminalisation of small volume use and possession of illicit drugs. Would you support or oppose legislation to enable this?
The drug scourge is a blight and a danger to our society and we must take a hard-line approach to dealing with this issue. Harm minimisation does little to stamp out drug use and many would argue normalising drug use through these strategies leads to an
increase in people using. I will never support decriminalising small amounts of illicitm drugs for recreational use as use of any illicit drugs can lead to dependence.
Given that the advances in medical science mean that children are now capable of being born alive at 24 weeks of a woman’s pregnancy, would you support a review of section 82A(8) of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 which says that “evidence that a woman had at any material time been pregnant for a period of twenty-eight weeks or more shall be prima facie proof that she was at that time pregnant of a child capable of being born alive” with a view to bringing it into line with current medical science and so changing the period to 24 weeks?
I am a strong right-to-life advocate and would willingly support a review of section 82A(8) of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935.
In the past, I have campaigned for ‘Jayden’s Law’ which would have allowed the parents of a still born child born between 16 weeks and 19 weeks to obtain a birth certificate. Under current law, a birth certificate can be obtained from 20 week gestation. Even a simple act as allowing a still born child a birth certificate brought significant opposition with some people raising concerns as to the ramifications this may have on abortion. Regardless of the parliamentary resistance to changing abortion laws, our medical advances would indicate that a review is timely.
Do you support faith-based organisations’ current right to, if they so choose, restrict employment or enrolment to those who share their ethos, just like political parties do?
I absolutely support faith-based organisations’ right to restrict employment or enrolment to those who share their values or ethos. In fact, my Australian Conservatives’ colleague Dennis Hood and I have consistently led the charge against any attempt in State Parliament to prevent Christian schools, churches and other institutions from maintaining this right.
Poker machines cause a great deal of social harm to vulnerable South Australians. Over $60 million is lost monthly on poker machines in South Australia, with a significant portion of this attributed losses suffered by women. Do you support legislating for $1 bets? B. What other measures do you support to help at-risk South Australians and their families?
Australian Conservatives believes that the real focus of dealing with harm as a result of problem gambling should centre on all forms of gambling including online gambling platforms which are experiencing enormous growth. Clear evidence shows that online gambling is most harmful due to insufficient regulated protections and restrictions. Poker machines are experiencing a decline in market share but continue to be a significant revenue raiser for the government and present a negative social cost to society. All measures to deal with the serious issue of problem gambling should be supported.
How would you like to be remembered as a parliamentarian?
I would like to be remembered as a politician with strong conservative convictions who worked hard to protect traditional values, defend the family unit and preserve the Judeo-Christian heritage upon which our nation was founded.