Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2023 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 March 2023) . . Page.. 506 ..
report has not been made fully public. What she fails to reflect on is that these are difficult matters for which people’s personal reputations are at stake. I think the minister has done an excellent job of trying to balance that difficult situation where we have seen a serious breakdown in the relations in the Heritage Council. The minister has acted swiftly and decisively to deal with those matters. Does everybody involved in that need to have their dirty laundry aired everywhere for general public discourse? That is a difficult conversation.
What I do know is that the Minister has sought to be proactive in briefing both Ms Lawder and the relevant standing committee in detail ahead of the public release of some of this material. That is not a minister who is seeking to be secretive or to have a cover-up. She has sought, in a sensitive way for matters that are difficult, to engage the relevant members of this Assembly in the nuance and the difficulty of the situation.
Now, there are debatable points here but I cannot accept the narrative that Ms Lawder has attempted to put on the table, nor her distortion of the decision-making processes that have led to this document being released in the form it is. I think it is important that those matters are put on the record in this chamber today.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Variation in Sex Characteristics (Restricted Medical Treatment) Bill 2023
Mr Barr, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.
Title read by Clerk.
MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism) (10.43): I move:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
I am pleased to present the Variation in Sex Characteristics (Restricted Medical Treatment) Bill 2023. This bill is an internationally significant reform in protecting the rights and choices of people with variations in sex characteristics. It recognises that people with variations in sex characteristics should not be subject to harm through inappropriate medical interventions. It affirms that they are entitled to make their own decisions about medical treatments that affect their bodies.
Having a variation in sex characteristics means that parts of your body, like genitals or features that emerge in puberty—breasts, body hair or facial hair—do not fit medical and social norms for female or male bodies. Variations in sex characteristics are about the body you were born with and are not the same as being transgender. Variations in sex characteristics are also called intersex.
Parents and families of intersex children have not all received the support and help that they have needed to navigate decisions and treatment pathways for their child. Some variations in sex characteristics can involve significant health risks, requiring