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GREENS CALL ON MARSHALL GOVERNMENT FOR CAUTION ON CONFUCIUS CLASSROOMS

Confucius Institutes are a key plank of the Chinese Communist Party's global soft power effort.  There are 14 Confucius Institutes in Australian universities and 67 Confucius Classrooms in Australian schools.

 

In South Australia, there is a ‘Confucius Institute’ (CI) at the University of Adelaide, two Confucius Classrooms in our state's public schools (Salisbury High and Plympton International College), and one Confucius Classroom in the private sector at Christian Brothers College.

 

Recently, it has been exposed that contracts between many Australian universities typically show agreements binding them to accept Chinese government authority through Hanban. Following a review by the NSW Education Department which initially suspended the expansion of further Confucius Classrooms in that state, the NSW Government have now announced that they will remove the Confucius Classroom program – run in 13 NSW schools - from NSW public schools and replace it with a language and culture program run by the NSW Education Department.

 

Greens MLC Tammy Franks has today written to the State Education Minister demanding a review of the Confucius Classroom program in South Australia. Ms Franks has also previously called for Adelaide University to reveal the details of their contract with the Confucius Institute, and urged the Minister to also investigate this matter.

The following quotes are attributable to Ms. Franks: “Censorship, discriminatory hiring practices and constraints on curriculum have rightly seen Confucius Institutes shut down elsewhere, particularly in Canada. That same caution should be applied here in South Australia.

“Minister Gardner must step in and halt the expansion of program and urgently review the nature of the contracts and curriculum as has happened in NSW.

“International programs, links, and institutions are both important and valuable, but our engagement with foreign entities such as these embedded Confucius Institutes must never happen at the cost of local academic freedom and autonomy.

“The refusal of Adelaide University to reveal the nature of their contractual arrangements gives cause for concern and that must be released to reassure all members of the South Australian community that it is DECD and not the CCP calling the shots on our local campuses. Confucius Classrooms in South Australia demand the same level of scrutiny as they have now had in NSW.

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GREENS CALL FOR STRONGER “PHONY POLICE” LAWS

 

After first appearing in Perth, another car has now appeared in Adelaide imitating a Chinese police vehicle, alarming members of the public and in particular ex-pats from China. There is currently speculation that this fake police car may have been part of an intimidating ploy against pro-democracy protesters rallying in solidarity with those in Hong Kong over the weekend.

Currently under South Australian law it is an offence to impersonate a police officer, but it is unclear if this incident is an offence under our state’s legislation as it does not refer to police vehicles or the impersonation of police from other countries. There needs to be greater clarity around these laws to protect the community. 

Greens MLC, Tammy Franks, will introduce a Private Members Bill in September to address this current grey area in our state laws. She has urged the State Government to either support the Greens Bill or bring in their own Government legislation to defend democracy.

 

Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks:

“The Marshall Government can show leadership and make it clear that we will not stand idly by if we see intimidation and threats to any members of the South Australian community.

“Our laws must clearly reflect that we don’t tolerate that intimidation from either an individual or a foreign power. We can and must make our laws clear to send that strong pro-democracy message.

“Australians have long enjoyed a strong and peaceful democracy and respect for protest, and our laws should ensure that right is afforded to all in our community.

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In a win for respect for CFS and SES Volunteers, today the Fire and Emergency Services (Volunteer Charter) Bill has passed in the House of Assembly with the support of all sides of politics after it was moved by Troy Bell MP. This Bill had already passed the Legislative Council, where it was sponsored by Tammy Franks MLC, and enshrines the CFS and SES Volunteer Charters in the Act itself (rather than in regulations).

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Confucius Institutes are a key plank of the Chinese Communist Party's global soft power effort. In South Australia, we have one Confucius Institute at the University of Adelaide, two Confucius Classrooms in our state's public schools (Salisbury High and Plympton International College), and one Confucius Classroom in the private sector at Christian Brothers College. There are 14 Confucius Institutes in Australian universities and 67 Confucius Classrooms in Australian schools.

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The Education and Children’s Services Bill currently before the state Parliament has stalled for four months while negotiations between Government and Upper House MPs on amendments continue.

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GREENS SEEING RED ON CODE BLUE CALL

The SA Greens have welcomed today’s announcement of a Code Blue emergency homelessness response but have renewed their calls (made in parliament last week) for a review and reform of the criteria for a Cold Blue to be called.

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