Canberra to work with Melbourne

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ANDREW Barr says he and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews have agreed to work together on several areas, including the Safe Schools program, information sharing to help prevent family violence and progressing low cost flights between Canberra and Melbourne.

“The Safe Schools program exists to do something about the bullying and discrimination faced by too many young LGBTIQ Australians, while extreme conservatives in the Liberal Party have attacked this program, Premier Andrews and I are proud to stand up for it,” Andrew said.

“We both support the Safe Schools program and, following our meeting we will share curriculum resources and the findings of research into ways the effectiveness of the program can be enhanced.

“80 per cent of homophobic and transphobic bullying amongst young LGBTIQ people occurs at school. Bullying distracts students from learning and saps them of their potential – and it has an impact far beyond the classroom.

“The training, resources and advice provided to schools, staff and students have been of high quality and are already highly valued by staff, students and families in the ACT.

“In the ACT budget we committed to the most comprehensive family violence package in the Territory’s history. It built on the findings of the Victorian Royal Commission by establishing a dedicated funding source for the program in the form of Australia’s first family safety levy.

“Premier Andrews and I agreed to progress information-sharing between our governments to help keep families safe, including sharing research findings. We will also undertake collaborative projects so both jurisdictions benefit from each other’s successes and resources.

“Canberra and Melbourne have much to offer each other’s residents and so we’ll work together to encourage a low cost carrier to introduce cheaper flights between these two dynamic capital cities. Adding a low cost carrier has the potential to be a significant boost to tourism in both directions, supporting jobs in Melbourne and Canberra.

“We will also work together on access to medicinal cannabis in our respective jurisdictions and collaborate on trials and research in the area.”

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