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You Won't Believe How Much The "Joke" Review Into Safe Schools Cost

Yes, more than $26,000 for two weeks work, to produce a report that everyone hated.

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Two weeks ago education minister Simon Birmingham released a review recommending a winding back of the Safe Schools Coalition, the LGBTI anti-bullying program.

BuzzFeed News

The review was carried out by professor Bill Louden from the University of Western Australia, and ran for 13 days from the 26th February to 15th March.

At the time, Labor and The Greens slammed the review for folding to conservative fears, while far right-wing MPs labelled it a "joke" and a "fraud" for not going far enough.

The amount was paid to report author professor Bill Louden and doesn't even factor in the cost of his key advisor professor Donna Cross.

So $26,000 = $2,000 per day for 13 days work.

Assuming professor Loudon worked for ~8 hours a day, that's $250 an hour.

Or $1,130.40 for each of the 23 pages of the review.

The review sparked changes to the program including amending lesson plans, restricting certain resources to one-on-one counselling sessions between students and staff, and making the classes opt-in from parents.

Safe Schools Coalition

“Students should not be confronted with, nor be at greater risk of, accessing information or material that is inappropriate for their age or cultural background,” Education Minister Simon Birmingham said.

Birmingham also indicated that the program would not continue to receive funding when the current plan ends in 2017.

Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.

Contact Alice Workman at

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