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Government’s consent education plan an insult to women and sexual violence survivors

Media Release
Larissa Waters 11 Mar 2021

The Greens have again called for a comprehensive national approach to consent training after Education Minister Alan Tudge today revealed the government’s weak-kneed response to growing demands for change.

“This response from the Morrison government to the roar of fury from women and girls everywhere is predictably too little and too late,” said Larissa Waters, Greens Leader in the Senate and spokesperson on women.

“The Education Minister’s so-called ‘announcement’ today wasn’t even that. It was a re-announcement of a $2.8 million online program they unveiled in 2019. A program that has so far, in two years, apparently failed to deliver any education materials for schools.

“In the face of a crisis of misogyny and sexual violence, this government has served up a reheated program from two years ago that was underwhelming at the time and seems utterly inadequate now.

“While many schools currently have Respectful Relationships programs after it was included in the National Curriculum in 2015, delivery of the content has been inconsistent, piecemeal and variable in quality. Every student no matter what school they attend or where deserves the same level of education about consent and healthy, respectful relationships.

“That’s why the Greens have called on the government to budget $190 million to support a national roll out of Our Watch’s respectful relationships training program that has been piloted successfully in Queensland and Victoria.

“The training takes a whole-of-school approach to primary prevention of gender-based violence including sexual harassment and abuse, not only providing in-class education but addressing school culture, policies and procedures and promoting gender equality among school staff.

“Australian women deserve a government that takes their safety seriously.”

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