The Liberal Party of Western Australia
Has pledged to pull funding from the state’s Safe Schools LGBTIQ anti-bullying program and redirect it towards rural education if elected.
WA Opposition Leader Mike Nahan (pictured) told his party’s state conference the program would be defunded so as to keep regional schools in the state open, ABC News reported.
“The cuts to these schools and these programs are not large, they’re not a large amount of money, and most of the money wasn’t put into the debt reduction — it hasn’t happened — or deficit reduction, it hasn’t happened,” Nahan said.
“It was used to fund the Safe School program, a Labor program.”
Western Australian McGowan government has announced that the regional schools including Moora Residential College and Landsdale College would be closing, a move which has angered locals and lead to a series of protests, Out in Perth reported.
Nahan said other anti-bullying programs already in place that would meet LGBTIQ students’ needs and the cut was not due to personal or party opposition to Safe Schools. He denied
“We noticed a new program — there are very few new programs that the Labor Government has come up with, one of them is Safe Schools — and it’s $1.2 million dollars additional money [that] went into Safe Schools.”
The Inclusive Education WA
Government has come and cut a whole range of programs to fund Safe Schools. My statement is — the better allocation is going back to the programs they cut, rather than Safe Schools.”
The WA Government said their support for the program, which was recently renamed Inclusive Education WA, was a commitment to ensure public secondary schools could access the program after the Federal Government’s funding ended. The amount was for $350,000 a year for four years.
“Safe Schools is an important program designed to ensure safer school environments, for those public secondary schools that decide to access it,” WA Education Minister Sue Ellery told the ABC.
“The McGowan Government is committed to the continued provision of professional learning and support to principals, teachers and support staff to understand the individual needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or intersex students in public secondary schools.
“Students who have been subjected to bullying have told me this program saves lives.
“I think it’s unwise of the Opposition to discourage support of the program.”