News. Com.Au By Frank Chung Mon., Sept. 07, 2020
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet says it is “completely unacceptable” for Treasury bureaucrats to be lecturing staff on their use of gender pronouns.
Mr Perrottet told 2GB’s Ben Fordham this morning that he would speak to the Treasury secretary today to ensure staff could refer to their spouses however they want, after The Daily Telegraph revealed they had been urged to avoid using “husband” and “wife”.
The lessons instructing staff on politically correct language training, including adding “pronoun preference” to their emails, have been roundly criticised a waste of time during the country’s worst economic crisis on record.
“This is your taxes, your taxes are going to this rubbish, this speech police,” Queensland Liberal Senator Matthew Canavan told Nine’s Today.
“I thought pandemic would get rid of all these fake problems because we’ve actually got real a problem to deal with right now. The sooner we move away from this stuff the better.”
According to The Daily Telegraph, Treasury staff were sent an official message by Economic Strategy Deputy Secretary Joann Wilkie after an internal “Wear It Purple” training day.
Ms Wilkie listed “some of the things we can all do to help create a safe space” for the LGBTIQA+ community.
Those included avoiding words like “husbands” or “wives” that might cause offence, and to use the neutral phrase “welcome folks” instead of “ladies and gentlemen”.
“Things like adding a pronoun preference to your signature block,” she told staff, according to The Daily Telegraph.
“And not assuming when you’re talking to a colleague that they are heterosexual/cisgendered/endosex, so use ‘partner’ rather than ‘wife’ or ‘husband’ and use an introduction like ‘welcome folks’ rather than ‘hi guys’ (I need to work on this one) or ‘good morning ladies and gentlemen’.”
One Nation MP Mark Latham told the newspaper Treasury staff should be focused on “jobs, jobs, jobs” and not “PC word games”. “Wilkie would be on $250,000 a year, plus, working in an economics department, one of the safest workplaces in the country,” he said.
“The notion of needing a safe space is ridiculous. She should do her day job of ‘economic strategy and productivity’ instead of insulting the thousands of business owners who have closed down and the hundreds of thousands of workers who have lost their jobs with her work priority of safe spaces and PC-word training.”