Casey rejects child friendly charter with councillor calling it ‘predatory’ and an attack on ‘traditional families’
Cranbourne Leader, 17 November 2016
A CASEY councillor has labelled a local government child-friendly charter “child-predatory”, saying it sexualises children and diminishes traditional family values.
Casey councillors this week chose not to endorse the three-year old charter created by the Victorian Local Governance Association, which asks councils to commit to “equitable access to supportive environments and services for children regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion or ability”.
The charter also asks for “respect and dignity for children to express their individual opinions, participate in and contribute to decisions about their communities and wellbeing.”
Neighbouring Shire of Cardinia signed the charter in 2015.
However, Cr Rosalie Crestani argued information contained in the charter had “holes” in it, including items that claimed children from different family structures did not fare worse than children from “traditional” nuclear families.
“Protecting children now and in to the future is always at the heart of every council decision,” Cr Crestani said.
“Unfortunately this charter, I believe, runs contra to this aim and was, in my individual opinion, yet another attempt at social engineering; this so-called ‘child friendly cities charter’ was nothing more than another undercover ‘un’-Safe Schools Coalition-style agenda that would seek to expose our children to early sexualisation and diminish the importance of the traditional family unit which presents a strong society based on Judaeo-Christian values.
“The accompanying data on the charter was skeletal but it took only a google search to discover what is, in my estimation, the real aim of this effort, which is superfluous at best and deceitfully child-predatory at worst.”
Victorian Local Governance Association acting chief executive officer, Lisa Mahood said, “it’s good to see that the City of Casey is addressing this issue through its own policies” and the VLGA welcomed “robust debate”.
A spokesperson from the Child Friendly Cities and Communities Advisory Group said, “the charter is consistent with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and is an important tool to support local government and is not affiliated with the Safe Schools program.”