National broadcaster’s posturings are ever more ridiculous
Mary Ward was a pioneer of women’s education. She spoke of the importance that women’s education represented. Mary Ward stated that if women were given the same opportunities, there would cease to be a difference between men and women. As a former Loreto student, educated under the fruits of her labour, I believe in her mission wholeheartedly. However, I’m sure even she would not have been a proponent of the educational videos the public broadcaster has begun disseminating.
A few weeks ago, the national broadcaster, the taxpayer-funded ABC, created a clip under its ABCQueer banner providing information and advice around predominantly female masturbation.
Now whilst not a great supporter of the content myself, I am aware that health advice should be delivered to young people in a way that they can engage with and are likely to consume. However, this is where my comments have been deliberately misconstrued. What I predominantly took issue with was the source of the funding for ABCQueer.
After a pilot, the ABCQueer banner was moved under the ABC Regional and Local banner. For every rural and regional Australian who relies heavily on their local ABC, this represents a massive disconnection between their needs and the broadcaster.
It forms part of a broader agenda within the ABC that no longer reflects our society. In the past census, it was found that 0.9 per cent of all Australian couples were same sex couples. Other studies estimate the total LGBTIQ+ community represents just over 3 per cent of the population. Comparatively, in the last census, 20 per cent of Australians identified as Catholic.
Now I agree that there should be content for every community. I am in fact a very big supporter of the LGBTIQ+ community; anyone who knows me can attest to that. However, I am also a mother of three children, one of whom is autistic, who lived, for a period, 80kms west of Moree on a cotton farm.
We relied on the ABC at times to provide information to us on the farm – especially around weather reports and commodity markets.
Speaking to the broader point, however, content for those of the Catholic faith is lacking. Certainly, it is not in any way proportionate to the size of the population who identify as Catholic. In fact, for people of faith, the ABC provides very little and often delivers programs that seek to mock or diminish, instead of providing genuine content to the community.
… the ABC created a clip under its ABCQueer banner providing information around predominantly female masturbation.” – Senator Holly Hughes
For example, the ABC was more than happy to belittle the faith of former Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The ABC is funded by every Australian and should be for every Australian. However, this shift has also been a characteristic of the modern left in Australia, in which the ABC is increasingly becoming entrenched. Unfortunately, even the Labor Party, a supposedly centre-left political party, has seemingly lost respect for our Christian traditions.
As reported by various news sources, Senator Sue Lines, the new President of the Senate, believes that the Lord’s Prayer should no longer be recited in the chamber. This, in the backdrop of Labor’s decision to torpedo the Coalition’s religious discrimination legislation, represents a fundamental disconnect between the left and people of faith.
It is highly disappointing that the Labor Party, which represents some of the most religiously diverse electorates in the country, has decided to move in this direction. People of faith across the country believe that the party is no longer willing to champion religious values. I would like to assure those reading and other people of faith that those on my side of politics, the Coalition, will always stand up for religious values.
The right to practice your religion free from discrimination, harassment or violence is an important pillar of our society. The Liberals and Nationals created and introduced the religious discrimination legislation, which would have provided key protections to religious people. Protections that many already respect in day-to-day life.
We believed enshrining these commitments in law was just as important as existing discrimination legislation which protects people with disabilities, elderly people, and others. Simply, we sought to do the same for people of faith as we had already done for other communities in our country.
Whilst that legislation was unfortunately opposed and defeated by those on the left, we won’t stop fighting on behalf of people of faith and we will always stick up for your right to practice your religion free from persecution, harassment, or discrimination in this country.
Holly Hughes is a Liberal Senator for NSW