There has been fresh outcry over the government’s bizarre sexual consent ads after it was revealed to come at a staggering cost.
There has been fresh outcry over the government’s bizarre sexual consent ads after it was revealed to come at a staggering cost.

‘Cringe-worthy’ ad’s huge price tag

The "milkshake" ad on sexual consent that has been slammed as a dangerous waste of money by the Morrison Government was part of a $3.7 million taxpayer funded campaign.

News.com.au revealed on Monday that rape prevention campaigners have raised serious concerns over the Morrison government's "confusing" new consent education campaign for schools featuring bizarre videos of a woman smearing a man's face with a milkshake.

AusTender documents suggest however it came with a hefty price tag - $3,790,600. The cost of the contract went up substantially during the design phase from $2.1 million to the final $3.7 million cost.

The resources were launched by Education Minister Alan Tudge last month and followed Brittany Higgins's allegation of a rape at Parliament House and the national outcry that followed.

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Rape prevention campaigners have slammed the consent videos as potentially harmful. Picture: The Good Society
Rape prevention campaigners have slammed the consent videos as potentially harmful. Picture: The Good Society

The Australian Government has invested $7.8 million in the Respect Matters program to support and promote positive attitudes, behaviours and equality in schools to help prevent domestic, family and sexual violence.

Victorian education minister James Merlino joined the chorus of criticism today, slamming the ad as a "big fail".

"It's disappointing, confusing and cringe-worthy and it missed the mark entirely,'' he said.

The consent videos include "examples" of a woman being concerned about swimming in a beach because of sharks and a man with a spear gun trying to convince her to get in the water, and a man eating tacos to explain sexual assault.

Labor's federal education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek said she had seen the clips and was not impressed.

"I have unfortunately,'' she said.

"It's so important that we get it right. And for me this really doesn't hit the mark, it really misses the mark.

"But our kids, like the average first age of watching pornography in Australia today is 10 years old. These kids are getting really unhealthy messages about sex and human relationships. And showing this sort of stuff, it means nothing to them. It's just laughable that this would actually educate or change behaviour in our young people."

Launching the campaign this year, Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge said education was important in building and maintaining respectful relationships from a young age.

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Brittany Lauga has come out against a series of 'bizarre' new sex ed videos. PIC: The Good Society
Brittany Lauga has come out against a series of 'bizarre' new sex ed videos. PIC: The Good Society

"The most important people in teaching kids about respect and relationships are parents, but schools can also play a vital role," Minister Tudge said.

"These materials will provide additional support to better educate young Australians on these issues and have been designed to complement programs already being offered by states and territories."

End Rape on Campus Australia's Karen Willis told news.com.au on Monday that the government's newly released school resources are concerning and confusing.

"Young people are more sophisticated than this content gives them credit for. And sex and consent is far more complicated than videos about milkshakes and sharks at the beach," Ms Willis, a prevention educator with 30 years experience, said.

"These resources fall well short of the national standards, and what experts know is needed to actually change behaviours and prevent abuse."

Former Sydney school student Chanel Contos, 22, has also launched a petition called Teach Us Consent, calling for earlier and improved sex education.

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The resources were launched in the wake of Brittany Higgins’ rape allegations. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage
The resources were launched in the wake of Brittany Higgins’ rape allegations. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage

Fair Agenda and End Rape on Campus Australia are calling for the government to engage violence prevention experts to replace the site's modules on consent and to review all content to ensure it meets the National Standards - including challenging the gender stereotypes that help enable gender-based violence.

Advocates say there are multiple issues with the Good Society site's content, including:

• A bizarre 'Yes No I Don't Know' video about going into water with sharks

• Often, instead of directly addressing the kind of behaviours a student is actually likely to be trying to navigate, the site provides confusing videos, including about milkshakes and tacos

• Includes concerning messages like "sexual desire can really distort our thinking"

• Provides incorrect and inadequate information about abuse

Renee Carr, executive director of Fair Agenda, said despite the Morrison Government's claim the program has been developed in conjunction with Our Watch and the Foundation for Young Australians, this was not the case.

Along with other organisations Our Watch was engaged to consult on a confidential basis and she was unable to share the advice they provided to the department on the creation of these materials.

 

 

 

Originally published as 'Cringe-worthy' ad's huge price tag



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