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Parents lose out with Section 59 Amendment.

for immediate release
from Parent.org

Parents lose out with Section 59 Amendment.

Parent.org chair, Steve Gore, is disappointed with the proposed amendment of the bill to repeal Section 59 of the Crimes Act.

"This is a cop out and illustrates once again government's inability or unwillingness to deal with parenting issues in any mature meaningful way. The Select Committee clearly got side tracked over the smacking issues and now they think they can pat themselves on the back because they have placed themselves skillfully on the fence, while at the same time making things harder for parents."

The lobby group supported full repeal through the select committee process and illustrated its point using, of all things, rugby.

"Rugby has no protection from the Crimes Act. Anyone can file a complaint of theft, assault and rioting if they see rugby being played. Of course this would never happen but now that the select committee have seen fit to be specific about how parents can interact with their children perhaps they need to consider writing an amendment to the Crimes Act to offer similar protection to sports people."

"Full repeal didn't ban smacking. It was simply putting parents on the same legal playing field as a rugby player and making it easier to secure prospection for parents who beat their children senseless. If Section 59 was fully repealed parents could still, under the principle of de minimis, smack their children, because repeal didn't make it any less legal than a good tackle. Under section 2 of the new amendment they can no longer do that without fear of prosecution because it is specified."

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The group is frustrated that the debate has overlooked more significant issues. "Parents operate in an environment that is focused on failure where only parental failure gets reported and government only offers resources to parents who are seen to be failing. Section 59 is a foundation stone of that environment as makes a public statement that we care so little about parents that we will endorse in legislation the ability to treat their children in ways that they cannot treat their dog or a burglar. Parents don't need government telling them how to raise their children, which is what both section 59 and this amendment does. What parents need an an environment that values them and encourages them to become skilled and knowledgeable. If they had that environment more parents would be raising fantastic kids and we could be winding back our growing social and criminal budgets, and this foolish debate. We can't begin to build that environment while parenting is wholly defined around the issue of smacking"

Parent.org is a national lobby group. It believes that the key to a safer, more prosperous society lies in having children raised by the worlds best parents and the way to achieve that is by giving parents the world's best parenting environment.


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