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Motion: Sex education

I, and also on behalf of Senator Waters, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Australian school students are crying out for clear and direct education on sex and consent,

(ii) the Federal Government's 'Respect matters' resources for schools were announced in 2015, re-announced twice and launched six years later to the condemnation of experts and survivors for promoting harmful ideas about consent and relationships,

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Early childhood boost must make it free

Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said reports that the Coalition government is considering a boost to childcare funding are welcome, but early learning must be made universal and free.

Senator Faruqi said:

“Any funding boost for early learning is welcome. But let’s be real: the most sensible and equitable move would be to make childcare universal and free.

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Speech: Early childhood education and care

I rise to speak briefly on Senator Pratt's motion to refer to the Senate Education and Employment References Committee a reference about early childhood education. I want to say at the start that early childhood education and care is an essential service. It should be universal and it should be free. I say this not just from a rights perspective. There is a compelling case for free and universally available early childhood education and care because it has enormous benefits for children and enormous benefits for families. Of course, it has enormous benefits and is good for women.

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Speech: Higher Education Support Amendment (Freedom of Speech) Bill 2020

 I rise to speak on the Higher Education Support Amendment (Freedom of Speech) Bill 2020. This bill amends the Higher Education Support Act 2003 to provide a new definition of academic freedom that enshrines in law principles of freedom of expression and substitutes the existing term 'free intellectual inquiry' in relevant provisions with the term 'freedom of speech and academic freedom' to align the language of provisions within the model proposed by Robert French.

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New early childhood data reveal costs, quality concerns

The median cost of childcare is the highest it’s ever been and there are worrying signs for service quality, according to new figures from the Productivity Commission. The new data also confirms that demand for early childhood education and care is higher than ever before.

The Greens say that this is a call to action for the Australian government to invest in universal, high-quality and fee-free early childhood education, and deal with the crisis facing early learning.

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