THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY
MEMBER FOR ISAACS
LABOR TO MOVE SENATE INQUIRY ON LGBTI STUDENT AND STAFF DISCRIMINATION
Labor will hold the government accountable to its pledge to remove discrimination against LGBTI children in schools, with an inquiry to progress this issue in light of stalling by the Morrison Government.
The issue of discrimination against LGBTI staff in religious schools will also be examined by the inquiry.
Before the Wentworth by-election, Scott Morrison pledged to remove discrimination against LGBTI students in the most recent two weeks of Parliament sitting. He failed, and then tried to blame Labor for that failure – despite Labor clearly saying we were happy to pass a repeal then and there.
Labor wants to see this bill passed before Parliament rises for the Christmas break – there is no reason why kids and their families should have to wait any longer for certainty.
Given the delay tactics used by the Liberals, we will work with the crossbench to refer the Government’s proposed bill to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee with an interim report date of November 26, when both Houses of Parliament return. The committee will be given a longer window of time to examine the issue of discrimination against LGBTI staff in religious schools.
A short inquiry will allow the Government’s bill on students to be thoroughly examined and scrutinised – the Government did no consultation, so we are forcing them to.
In particular, the committee will inquire into whether the government’s proposal to expand exemptions for indirect discrimination are necessary in addition to existing protections for schools.
Labor is also committed to removing discrimination against LGBTI staff in religious schools.
We will progress this issue by examining how legislative change can best be made to remove discrimination whilst respecting the ability of religious schools to uphold the teachings of their faith.
Labor is clear – we support the removal of discrimination against LGBTI kids and staff in schools. This inquiry will mean the government have no more excuses not to get on with the job of ending discrimination once and for all.
MONDAY, 12 NOVEMBER 2018