Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ethics legislation

Hello again everyone,
Through the magical world of twitter I have just been informed of "The right to teach Ethics in our public schools passes the lower house. Opposed by Libs & Nats." @KKeneally. This essentially means that no matter the election result, ethics classes are to go ahead.. at least for the immediate future.I have a feeling that the Liberals realised there was very little they could do to stop the legislation from passing, labour certainly has the numbers in the lower house. 

I also mentioned that I would keep you all up-to-date with my correspondence with Andrew Constance and with the St James ethics centre. I realise that Andrew is the shadow minister for Ageing and Disability Service, however he is also the representative of my electorate, Bega. I find it most useful to contact my own members when curious about political issues, because they're the ones who take the time to get back to me. I've spoken to Andrew a couple of times in the last couple of days and here's what he has to say in a recent email:

There are mixed views on ethics across the community and there has been robust debate in Parliament on ethic classes.

It is disappointing that the government has seen fit to pit ethics courses against religion courses in an attempt to wedge the opposition. This is to the detriment of the education of the state's school children and politicises education unnecessarily. The Liberals & Nationals continue to support SRE in our schools.

At this time the Keneally Labor Government is refusing to confirm who will be conducting the ethics courses at Far South Coast schools, what funds will be made available to run the courses and whether the introduction of the ethics classes will actually address the issue of some kids with nothing to do. These are serious concerns.

The report on the trial that was conducted did raise a number of concerns regarding course content, including content involving designer babies and terrorism.

For these reasons we are opposing the legislation
On the other hand, the St James Ethics centre, has so far only sent me an automated style 
e-mail stating that they'd get back to me in more detail when they have the time. Obviously they 
are very busy. I can understand how one citizen journalist, with a blogging audience she can 
count on one hand, isn't their first priority.
Despite this rather lame scope of influence, I will keep the up dates coming!

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