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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 757 asked in the Legislative Council on 7 August 2019 by Hon Charles Smith

Minister responding: Hon S.M. Ellery
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 7 August 2019


757. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the Minister for Education and Training:

I refer to the state government–funded Inclusive Education WA program, which is being delivered to schools across Western Australia by the Western Australian AIDS Council.

(1) Can the minister confirm that Inclusive Education WA is largely a rebranded version of the old Safe Schools program and involves at least some of the individuals who previously ran the Safe Schools program in WA?

(2) Is the minister aware that students seeking more information on the Inclusive Education WA program are referred to the WA AIDS Council website, which contains graphic sexual content?

(3) Is the minister aware that the WA AIDS Council website also contains a section advising people how to use meth safely?

(4) Does the government concede that it is inappropriate that Western Australian students are directed to a site that exposes them to highly explicit sexual content and content on how to use illicit drugs?

Hon SUE ELLERY replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1) The Safe Schools Coalition WA changed its name to Inclusive Education WA. This was not the McGowan government rebranding the program. The Department of Education has an agreement with the WA AIDS Council to provide professional development and support to principals, teachers and support staff to understand the individual needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or intersex students in public secondary schools. Public secondary schools make the decision about whether the Inclusive Education program is right for their school community. It is not delivered to schools across Western Australia, as the honourable member has suggested.

(2)–(4) The content to which the honourable member refers is on a public website, was developed for a specific purpose and is targeted at an adult audience. The WA AIDS Council offers a number of services to the broader community. The work for which it is contracted by the Department of Education is for those public secondary schools that make a decision that the Inclusive Education program is right for their school community.