HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, CANBERRA
THURSDAY, 17 MARCH 2016
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Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Growing up as a teenager is never easy. Kids can be very cruel to their peers.
For young Australians who are gay, it's even tougher – with bullying and worse a daily reality.
Every child in Australia has the right to be safe at school.
Safe Schools is an anti-bullying program.
It is a voluntary program – schools choose to opt-in
· 533 schools have freely chosen to opt in.
· 32 schools have signed up since the Prime Minister announced his review – more than one a day.
So when it comes to the welfare of our children, if I have to choose between: the teachers, the principals and the school counsellors of Australia, or the rabid ideologues of the Liberal-National parties - I will choose Australian teachers and schools any day.
Mr Turnbull has a very simple choice here.
Stand with the great majority of Australians – or a small right-wing fringe.
Today we will see how scared he is of his Liberal party.
We know that he’s scared – it’s just a matter of how scared.
Mr Turnbull is learning a very old lesson right now.
When you give in to a bully, they come back wanting more.
When you give in to the bullies of the extreme right – they will keep coming back wanting more.
It’s time for Mr Turnbull to stand up for vulnerable young teenagers.
Mr Turnbull, stop following your party, start leading it.