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Labor admits that changing Sex Discrimination Act will attract more men into primary teaching.

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Australian Government Minister for Education, Science and Training

Media Release


25 March, 2004 MIN 653/04

The Labor Party has revealed that it does believe that changing the Sex Discrimination Act to enable more men to be employed in our primary schools will work, but still refuses to support the changes.

Speaking in Federal Parliament today, Labor’s shadow Attorney General Nicola Roxon, admitted that changing the act will attract more men into teaching but says Labor won’t support this common sense measure because Labor State governments would fail to keep the new male teachers in the workforce!

“As the Minister says, it (changing the Sex Discrimination Act) might encourage some men to go into teaching instead of other courses. This report goes into great detail about the problem being retaining men in classrooms. So what is going to happen with these young men who are attracted to teaching if no other measures are put in place to keep them there?

Nicola Roxon, Hansard, 25 March 2004

The Labor Party agrees with the Government that we need more men in primary teaching.

The Labor Party agrees that changing the Sex Discrimination Act will attract more men into teaching.

But the Labor Party is so paralysed by political correctness it cannot support a common sense measure to do something practical to achieve that.

The Labor Party has attempted to base much of its argument against supporting the change to the Sex Discrimination Act on the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Training report Boys: Getting it Right. The Labor Party repeatedly says that this report recommended male and female teaching scholarships.

But Labor Member for Port Adelaide Rod Sawford, who was Deputy Chair of the Committee, said that the Sex Discrimination Act was exactly why the committee had taken that option!

“Rod Sawford, deputy chair of the inquiry, acknowledges the male-only scholarships would have been preferable. “We thought the discrimination laws would be a problem. That’s why we said 50%.”

Sydney Morning Herald, March 20, 2003

The Labor Party knows that making this small change to the Act is right, common sense and would achieve results. For the good of the nation I appeal to Mark Latham to do what he, and the parents of Australia, knows is right.

Media contacts: Dr Nelson’s Office Ross Hampton 0419 484 095