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Push for anti-bullying laws in NSW
The Community Brave Foundation and independent NSW MP Alex Greenwich will lobby the NSW government to legislate anti-bullying laws similar to those used in other states.
Greenwich told the Star Observer a law in Victoria, referred to as ‘Brodie’s Law’ after a young woman who took her own life as a consequence of being bullied, should be replicated in NSW.
“I will work with Community Brave and my parliamentary colleague to progress anti-bullying laws and education programs in NSW,” Greenwich said.
“Brodie’s Law was introduced in Victoria and has had a positive impact in educating students, communities, and workers. I would like to see the same thing happen in NSW.”
The law amends the Crimes Act to strengthen stalking provisions to cover serious bullying.
Community Brave chair Rami Mandow said the campaign had already received support from Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
“Having an anti-bullying message coming from our political leaders adds enormous value to raising awareness about the issue and helps highlight how important it is for us all to work together,” he said.
“If we want to win this battle, we’re going to need everyone on side, regardless of their political views, because this problem doesn’t discriminate when it takes our youth in the suicide epidemic sweeping our society.”
Mandow said the organisation would work with Greenwich from early 2013 to lobby the NSW government for anti-bullying law reform.
A spokeswoman for NSW Attorney General Greg Smith said there were no plans at present to implement Brodie’s law or an equivalent anti-bullying law in NSW.
“The Attorney General deplores any form of bullying,” a spokeswoman said.
“Cyber bullying is one of the issues to be examined by the working group on social media formed by the Standing Council on Law and Justice – a committee of the attorneys general of states and territories and the Commonwealth.”
However, the spokeswoman also said any proposals for anti-bullying legislation would be considered.
“The NSW government will examine any proposal by Mr Greenwich when it is put before Parliament.”
Mandow said that Community Brave would take the campaign to other states and territories until the laws had been adopted around Australia.