ALP silent on cash for Safe Schools program

The Australian, May 17, 2016.

Labor education spokeswoman Kate Ellis is yet to declare whether the party will fund the Safe Schools program, but yesterday noted that it “does incredibly important work”.

The anti-bullying program, which was supported by the Labor Party, was gutted by the Coalition in March in response to concerns that it promotes a leftist ideological agenda.

The Coalition declared that Safe Schools would receive no federal funding after next year, when the Gillard government’s $8 million contribution to the program runs out. It also banned links to third-party materials on the Safe Schools website, such as the promotion of gay and transgender youth network Minus 18.

Ms Ellis yesterday would not reveal Labor’s policy on Safe Schools and whether it would fund the program after 2017.

“We established the Safe Schools program and we think it does incredibly important work,’’ she said. “The government will cut this program entirely next year. Labor will have more to say on our education policies in the lead up to the election.”

Education Minister Simon Birmingham said: “If the Labor Party choose not to support our responsible and measured changes then they will need to explain to Australian parents why they believe the removed web links and classroom activities should be retained.”


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