Christensen links Safe Schools to pedophilia under parliamentary privilege


LNP Queensland MP George Christensen has accused a man he's labelled a "pedophilia advocate" of being linked to the controversial Safe Schools program.

Conservative Nationals MP George Christensen, a staunch opponent of the Safe Schools program, is among a group of coalition MPs who have written to the prime minister calling on him to axe federal funding for the controversial anti-bullying schools program.

The backbencher has used parliamentary privilege on Wednesday to name Professor Gary Dowsett, the deputy director of La Trobe University's Sex, Health and Society section of being behind the anti-bullying program.

"I think it would shock many parents to know that a pedophilia advocate is overseeing the organisation that came up with the Safe Schools program," he told parliament.

When contacted by AAP Mr Dowsett said: "I really don't want to comment about him.

"I will leave that to other people at this point to comment. There might be other people who might want to comment."

Mr Dowsett is seeking advice about Mr Christensen's 90-second statement to parliament.

The MP referred to an article allegedly written by Mr Dowsett from the journal Gay Information to accuse him of being "a long-time advocate of intergenerational sex, otherwise known as pedophilia".

"He says 'how different then is the gentle, tentative sexuality between parent and child from the love of a pedophile and his or her lover. That kind of love, warmth and nurture is an important part of the pedophilic relationship'," the backbencher said.

It is understood the article was written 35 years ago.

La Trobe University have released a statement, according to the ABC.

"We are appalled that a respected academic has been attacked using parliamentary privilege," a spokesman said.

"This is a blatant attempt to distract attention from the independent endorsement of the highly effective Safe Schools program.

"We stand by the important work of Professor Dowsett and his team."

Mr Christensen wants funding for the schools program axed or suspended until a "full blown" parliamentary inquiry is held.

He believes "gravely-concerned" parents and teachers should be allowed to air their concerns to an inquiry.

He expects a majority of his backbench colleagues will support the letter expressing such sentiments to Malcolm Turnbull.

The MPs are not happy with an independent review of the program, which Mr Christensen said operated under a tight terms of reference drafted by Education Minister Simon Birmingham.

They were briefed on the findings of the review on Tuesday night, but left the confidential meeting unimpressed.

Senator Birmingham said no one had personally told him they felt the review process was a sham.

He would carefully consider what the reviewers found in terms of the appropriateness of the program's resources.

Labor leader Bill Shorten accused the MPs of being a "tin foil hat brigade" who wanted to second guess school councils and principals.

He called on Mr Turnbull to show some leadership and back the education minister over the "lunar right" of his government.

Greens senator Robert Simms urged coalition MPs to drop their attack on the program and move on.

"This review was pointless to begin with and now we've got coalition MPs throwing a tantrum because they don't like the outcome," he said.


Source AAP

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