One Nation NSW leader and MLC Mark Latham will push 500 anti-transgender ‘information packs’ compiled by anti-trans lobby group Binary Australia into P&C groups in New South Wales.
The packs were funded by donations to Binary Australia, which was launched last year from the ashes of the Marriage Alliance, which also campaigned heavily against marriage equality and LGBTI rights.
Called the ‘Anti-PC P&C Pack’, it encourages parents to quiz schools over which bathrooms trans students use, where they sleep when on school camps, whether they are allowed to participate in sports that align with their gender, and other needless, invasive questions.
The packs appear to be endorsed by NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell, who said that “P&Cs … are best placed to raise concerns with principals who, I believe, are generally closely connected with their student and parent cohorts.”
Binary Australia’s director Kirralie Smith, who was briefly a Senate candidate for Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives Party at the state election earlier this year, claims the packs are designed to prevent “radical transgender indoctrination”.
In January this year, Latham announced a One Nation policy to ban trans self-identification. He is now the chair of the Upper House’s education committee.
The plan has the backing of Finance Minister Damien Tudehope, Corrective Services Minister Anthony Roberts, Member for Mulgoa Tanya Davies, and Matthew Mason-Cox MLC.
Tudehope, who in 2016 presented a petition to end the Safe Schools program calling it a “Trojan horse for far-left extremists”, was meant to attend the launch of the packs.
In 2017, Davies – then Minister for Mental Health – stated that suicide “statistics are disproportionately high within the LGBTI community” and that “as a government we need to do everything we can to directly tackle that” while announcing $500,000 in funding for ACON to deliver LGBTI suicide prevention programs.
“The best way governments can proactively intervene in people’s lives is through grassroots organisations, because it’s those organisations that are engaged in people’s lives directly on a daily basis,” Davies said at the time.
NSW Greens MLC David Shoebridge, who is also on the education committee, tweeted about the plan after raising it with Mitchell in parliament.
Not good enough. The state government has a responsibility to ensure schools are a safe place for all students.
— David Shoebridge (@ShoebridgeMLC) August 8, 2019
Trans advocate and former Young Australian of the Year nominee Margot Fink tweeted about the plan, saying “it’s way past time right wing extremists stop using our lives for political fear mongering and whipping up hysteria.”
“It’s exhausting to be trans some days. Like waking up today to hear right wing extremists have launched a campaign to harass trans children in schools, when all any of us want is basic respect, dignity, and equality to be ourselves,” she said.
“And to be clear, ANY success these transphobic campaigns have will cause harm to trans children, and the community as a whole.”
Occasional reminder that what Shelton, Latham, Smith, Cottrell, Devine etc refer to as “radical transgender indoctrination” is a process of support & affirmation for gender-diverse kids that is supported by ever peak medical, psychological & paediatric body in the western world.
— Pauline Pantsdown (@PPantsdown) August 7, 2019
48 per cent of trans young people in Australia between the ages of 14 and 25 have attempted suicide, according to a 2017 study.
Anyone concerned about the impact of the packs should contact The Gender Centre, which delivers school support programs which help facilitate the safe transition of young people while at school.
A spokesperson for the Federation of Parents and Citizens Associations of New South Wales (P&C Federation) said the organisation had no comment as they have not seen the materials.
The office of Tanya Davies MP has also been contacted for comment.
If you or someone close to you is struggling and needs someone to speak to, you can contact one of these services:
Switchboard/QLife: 1800 184 527
Headspace: 1800 650 890
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
Lifeline: 13 11 14