The Tasmanian Greens’ Health spokesperson and Member for Braddon Paul O’Halloran MP today welcomed the announcement that all Tasmanian state schools would offer relationships and sexuality education as a good step forward for preventative health and the fulfilment of long-standing Greens policy.
Mr O’Halloran said regional areas like north-west Tasmania would particularly benefit from the plan to offer age-appropriate education promoting an understanding of sexuality and the importance of healthy relationships.
“Age appropriate sex-education is essential in Tasmania’s north-west, where we have among the nation’s highest rate of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases,” Mr O’Halloran said.
“Prevention is where the biggest savings are to be made in healthcare, and if we are serious about improving health and wellbeing in the community then we need to put greater focus on education.”
“In the past, too many public primary and secondary school students have missed out on this crucial part of their education, putting them and their future sexual partners at greater risk of poor health outcomes.”
“As an educator I know it’s an uncomfortable subject for many people, but failure to tackle it leaves our children vulnerable to unwanted sex, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and lifelong self esteem issues.”
“We also have the nation’s highest rate of mothers who smoke during pregnancy, which we know can stunt foetal growth, lead to miscarriage and increase the risk of heart disease in later life.”
Paul O’Halloran MP Greens Health Spokesperson & Member for Braddon