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Friday, 28 November 1986
Page: 2976

Senator WALTERS(11.31) —There is no question at all that either I or any other senator on this side of the chamber would say for one moment that there is not a need for equal human rights and equal opportunity to be taught in the schools. The teachers normally do that. They normally teach equality of race, colour, religion, creed and gender. What we are talking about is the way the Human Rights Commission has entered this teaching area and has paid teachers to do a job that they normally do, but it is paying them to do it in a far more radical manner. It is paying the teachers to get stuck into and to brainwash the little children as soon as they reach school age, in the first four weeks of their going to kindergarten. That is what we are objecting to. The normal teachers out there in the community, who handle this subject very well, would not have a bar of what the Commission is asking them to do. Because of that, not so long ago the Human Rights Commission had to advertise in the newspapers saying that if teachers took that up, it would pay them. I would be interested to know how many applications the Commission has received. I would like the Minister to get that information for me. How many teachers responded and took up the suggestion? How much has been paid to the teachers? I think it would be most appropriate if we had that information before this debate closes.