My conditional support for Trevor's amendments

Trevor Mallard has proposed some changes to the Education Amendment Bill (No 2).

Trevor has been on a bit of a crusade against the secrecy of the the Teachers Council, a crusade that I have been quietly supporting him on. I think his amendments have merit but I give my support with conditions.

I can’t agree with the $100,000 fine, that he proposes for breaches of suppression orders. That would place an extreme limitation on suppression of freedom of expression.

In many cases that fine would exceed any fine that the offender would receive by an order of magnitude that far outweighs the naming of someone who is afraid of their own name.

There are some examples covered by these provisions that received home detention and a fine of less than $5000, but naming them would cop one of $100,000. Seems far too excessive, to my way of thinking.

Sunlight is always the best disinfectant and I think his other proposals should be adopted by the government as away of moving to more trasparency in the way dodgy teachers are dealt with.

I’m pretty sure that Trevor and I are in agreement with the scale of some of these crimes that are currently being hidden. I’m not sure there are many out there who think the ability of a history or maths teacher to teach is impaired if they were a little lax with the books at the local chess club, but we sure as hell don;t want pedos and sex offenders anywhere near teaching children or even on the premises and so naming and shaming them would help drive them from the profession. Currently it appears that the Teacher’s Council is a friend of pedos and I’m not sure that is fair, but with secrecy provisions shielding criminals it leads one to draw that conclusion.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.