Tehan urges unis to defend free speech (again)

But the minister does not mention the legislation change the French review proposed

The Weekend Australian splashed with Education Minister Dan Tehan calling for university’s to “stand up and defend free speech and freedom of academic inquiry.”

It was not a hard story to report, quoting the minister’s op ed in the paper that morning. Mr Tehan called on all universities to voluntarily adopt former chief justice Robert French’s proposed free speech code. Mr Tehan recommend the code to universities when the French review was released in April.

But curiously for such a serious issue,  Mr Tehan’s Saturday op ed did not mention other French review recommendations, for amendments to the Higher Education Support Act and the HE Standards, “to distinguish freedom of speech and academic freedom and to define academic freedom by reference to generally accepted elements.”

Mr Tehan ruled them out in April, leaving him in the happy position now of being able to urge universities to act without assisting them do what he thinks they should, (CMM April 9).


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