These are recent media releases related to my electorate of Murrumbidgee.
My Ministerial media releases are published in full here.
Labor Member for Murrumbidgee, Chris Steel, expressed outrage at questioning on the Safe Schools Program made by the Canberra Liberals' new spokesperson on Families, Youth and Community Services: Elizabeth Kikkert during Annual Report hearings of the Standing Committee on Education Employment and Youth Affairs.
“Today, the Canberra Liberals have shown an incredible misunderstanding of the Safe Schools program, by suggesting it is a sexual education program delivered directly to students by a third party organisation."
"The Safe Schools Program provides support to schools who opt in to make their schools more inclusive for LGBTIQ students,” Mr Steel said.
“To attack a program aimed at helping vulnerable students is one thing; but to attack the program by spreading falsehoods is on a completely different level."
Up until this point Liberal Members of the Assembly have avoided revealing their position on the program during the sitting week, including during two relevant motions being debated.
"Today we heard what people feared at the election; that the Canberra Liberals are the most conservative opposition in Australia."
"I again challenge the Canberra Liberals to actually read the Safe Schools resources and point out the specific part they have a problem with."
Mr Steel said he hopes the Canberra Liberal’s leader, Alistair Coe, can hold his spokespeople to a higher standard.
“It's up to us in leadership positions to promote inclusion of vulnerable people - particularly our vulnerable children."
"It shows a lot about their values that they are denigrating programs aimed at supporting inclusion."
Mr Steel said he was pleased that ACT Minister for Education, Yvette Berry MLA, categorically stated that the ACT Government is supportive of the program.
“The Safe Schools Program is vital to supporting school principals and teachers to ensure our education system in the ACT is as inclusive as possible for all students,” Mr Steel concluded.