Page 1814 - Week 06 - Thursday, 8 June 2023

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significant concerns raised with us relate to the details contained in the draft regulation, specifically the list of included conditions.

It is disappointing that the Greens and Labor members of the Standing Committee on Health and Community Wellbeing got together and decided not to undertake an inquiry into the bill, which would have allowed concerns about the regulations, specifically the list of included conditions, to be scrutinised. I acknowledge that the government did undertake a consultation process and an exposure draft of this bill was released last year. However, the final bill that was presented to the Assembly less than three months ago is substantially different to the exposure draft.

Therefore, we now have legislation which, in the words of the Chief Minister, is “An internationally significant reform which has had no substantive scrutiny undertaken by the Assembly.” This is despite the chair of the committee, Johnathan Davis, acknowledging in his statement to the Assembly on 11 May that the committee had received correspondence from medical practitioners seeking to have their views heard.

It is imperative that significant legislation such as this, which deals with extremely complex and sensitive issues, is done right, and part of that process should have been an inquiry undertaken by the Standing Committee on Health and Community Wellbeing, which is why I have written to the committee this morning, urging them to undertake an inquiry into the draft regulation to allow the concerns raised with us and, indeed, the committee itself, according to Mr Davis, to be carefully considered to ensure we get this right. This reform is too important not to.

MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (10.33): Our bodies are fundamental to who we are. Everyone should be able to determine what happens to their body. I speak today in strong support of this bill, which will bring into law world-leading protections for intersex people—protections that acknowledge the fundamental humanity of people with innate variations in their sex characteristics; protections which support fully informed decision-making and the rights of intersex people to determine what happens to their own bodies and when.

Over the past few years, there have been several significant human rights decisions and an increasing number of comments from international and national human rights bodies regarding the way intersex people are treated by our medical systems. These decisions reflect an increasing recognition of the rights of intersex people to determine what happens to their body. They reflect a growing understanding of the unique challenges faced by intersex people and affirm their rights to autonomy, bodily integrity and non-discrimination. They serve as important benchmarks for legal and policy reforms at national and international levels and they contribute to the ongoing advocacy efforts to secure the human rights of intersex people worldwide. The reforms we are debating today now form a part of these histories and human rights victories. My ACT Greens colleagues and I are very proud to support them.

While we are taught in our high school biology classes that sex is binary and that there are only distinctly male and distinctly female bodies, sex is not that simple. Intersex people have innate sex characteristics that do not fit medical and social norms for female or male bodies. Intersex people comprise about two per cent of the population and are part of every society and every community in the world. There are


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