What can Christian schools expect in the 10th ACT Assembly

ACT Labour and the ACT Greens have signed their Parliamentary and Governing Agreement for the 10th Legislative Assembly.

What does this Agreement mean for Christian schools and their communities?

The Agreement provides some commitments in relation to Early Childhood Education –

“The ACT Labor and Greens Government will improve equitable access to early childhood education and care over the next four years as part of the roadmap outlined in Set Up for Success: An Early Childhood Strategy for the ACT which includes staged delivery of universal access to early learning for three year old children in the ACT. All three-year-olds will be able to access one day per week of early childhood education, 48 weeks a year, by 2024″.

The document includes a number of “Agreed Legislative Reform” including the following which may impact on Christian schools:

  • Establish industrial manslaughter as an offence in the Work Health and Safety Act
  • Amend the Portable Long Service Scheme to ensure more workers receive fair entitlements as they move jobs in their profession.
  • Review the Discrimination Act as part of the implementation of the Capital of Equality Strategy

According to the ACT Government Office for LGBTIQ+ Affairs,  the Capital of Equality Strategy “sets out how the ACT Government will continue to make Canberra the most LGBTIQ+ welcoming and inclusive city in Australia”.

The Parliamentary Agreement goes on to outline the respective parties policy platform for the 10th Assembly. 

The ACT Labor Policy Platform for the 10th Assembly includes –

Education

ACT Labor believes in providing a high-quality education to every child, and in welcoming and helping all children to reach their potential. To keep delivering on this principle, in this term the Government will:

3.1 Continue to implement our Future of Education Strategy, which prioritises equity and inclusion. This includes continuing the successful provision of free Chromebooks to all public high school students, trialling free meals at five public schools, and establishing a $12 million Education Equity Fund to help parents buy school uniforms, glasses and sports clothes, and pay for excursions and camps, so all children can fully participate in school life.

3.2 Finalise construction of a new public primary school in Molonglo, to be ready for students for the 2021 school year, with a co-located high school to open in 2023

3.3 Commence construction on new high schools in Taylor and Kenny, and a new primary school in North Gungahlin

3.4 Renew and upgrade Narrabundah College

3.5 Increase capacity for college students in Canberra’s North through a $50 million investment over the next term of government

3.6 Invest $130 million over four years in a school infrastructure maintenance, upgrade and renewal program

Community Sector

5.3 Insert a non-discrimination clause in all funding agreements between government and community organistions (particularly around equal access to services for LGBTIQ)

LGBTIQ+

The Government wants to keep Canberra the most LGBTIQ+ friendly city in Australia. Canberrans achieved the highest participation and ‘yes’ vote for marriage equality. In the past term we banned sexuality and gender identity conversion practices. We will continue to support our LGBTIQ+ residents and visitors through a variety of measures, including:

11.1 Progressively implementing the Capital of Equality First Action Plan

11.2 Extending the Capital of Equality Grants Program

11.3 Continuing to support our LGBTIQ+ events, including SpringOUT and Yes! Fest

ACT Greens Policy Platform for the 10th Assembly –

Education

8.1 Ensure all indoor learning spaces are between 17 and 30 degrees at all times, appropriately ventilated, and smoke-free ($30M over four years)

8.2 Review the ACT Education Directorate’s “Bring Your Own Device”, Google classrooms and remote learning policy

8.3 Increase nature play spaces and outdoor activities equipment for older schools ($3M over four years)

8.4 Move CIT into the Education Directorate, include a Member of the AEU on the CIT Board and expand the Gungahlin CIT Campus to provide more technical and vocational training

8.5 Commit to no more school closures, including examination of models to keep Tharwa pre-school open

Sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex rights

20.1 Increase the capacity of Meridian and continue to support for CBR Pride Hub

20.2 Fund a dedicated housing and homelessness officer to provide advocacy and support to same sex attracted and gender diverse people

20.3 Provide increased funding for A Gender Agenda including for a dedicated intersex officer and delivery of services in The Friday Centre

20.4 Update the high school health curriculum as it relates to gender and gender identity, and continue updating all government forms, including for schools,to recognise sex and gender diversity

20.5 Roll out community based rapid HIV testing and HIV/BBV prevention efforts

20.6 Ban gender-related surgery on intersex babies (unless necessary for preservation of life) and provide training for midwives and doctors

20.7 Work with survivors of conversion therapy to determine further reforms

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