Funding complaint about Families Commission

Dom Post 28 July 2009

Supporters of the smacking referendum which kicks off this week are crying foul over what they say is the use of public money to back a vote supporting the present law. Family First spokesman Bob McCoskrie said the Families Commission was campaigning for a “yes” vote in the referendum, which asks whether a smack “as part of good parental correction” should be a crime. Commission chief executive Paul Curry rejected the claims, saying the commission had long made its views on the law clear, and was not doing so in a way that encouraged a vote either way.

Mr McCoskrie said campaigning by the agency included an editorial in its latest newsletter, written by chief commissioner Jan Pryor, and material on its website. He said the material flew in the face of the Government’s decision to keep the law intact regardless of the outcome of the referendum, which will be held by postal ballot between July 31 and August 21. “One minute the Government’s saying they’re going to take no notice of the referendum, but then the Government’s coffers are paying for newsletters and organisations running courses to basically promote the law.”