Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens' Education spokesperson
The Education Minister must immediately investigate the full circumstances which led to the attempted gag of Steve Biddulph. A government gag of an individual expressing their opinion is unconscionable and goes against all rights of free speech.
Mr Biddulph, a child development expert, was a critic of lowering the school starting age. During the Education Act debate he presented cited evidence to back up his concerns.
It’s unthinkable for a government to attempt to gag someone who had an alternate opinion. Minister Rockliff must investigate this as a matter of urgency.
The Education Department's restricted contract for Mr Biddulph's appearance shines a light on government actions that Tasmanians should be very wary of. This is yet another example of the government-wide culture of secrecy that has developed under the Hodgman Liberal Government.
No democratic government should seek to curtail an individual's freedom to express their opinion. It's a very slippery slope, and the community has the right to demand the government explain the attempted gag.