Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (10 February) . . Page.. 161..
MR STEFANIAK (continuing):
I have to disagree with the Chief Minister when he said that, because this matter appeared in this particular bill, it has been objected to, whereas it would probably just go through if it was in another bill. This is not a law that has been around for a long time and yes, it only applies to about six premises in Canberra. However, I think every other premises has probably adopted, through convention or otherwise, a similar set up. Invariably, as I said earlier, in any large establishment, you will have a men's change room and a women's change room. Sometimes they will have showers, toilets or changing facilities, depending on the nature of the change rooms, but I do not think I have seen many that are effectively a unisex change room.
This law, I think, has served the test of time pretty well indeed. I am not sure if anyone has been prosecuted under it or not. I think that is probably right. I cannot recall anyone being prosecuted under it. However, I think it has served us well. It is something that, unless there is very good reason to get rid of it-and its being an old law is not reason enough-should remain. The Chief Minister's reason, in his introductory speech, for getting rid of it was that problems had been caused in relation to intersex and transgender people and-
Mr Stanhope: That is what we first looked at, Bill.
MR STEFANIAK: Yes, and, taking that on board, I have come up with this amendment to overcome that particular problem. Now it seems that it is a law that should not be there at all but, at the time this was introduced, that was what was being got rid of. I think the Chief Minister is being somewhat cute if he is saying, "There have been all sorts of mischief out there in the present,"because, quite clearly, all sorts of ramifications would flow from this law, which was put up simply as a result of some concerns in relation to transgender and intersex people, which this amendment covers.
I do commend this amendment to the Assembly. I note, from what people are saying, that it is not going to be successful, but I do think it is a sensible amendment which quite clearly keeps a law that served us well, but also takes into account the concerns the Chief Minister raised when he introduced the bill.
Wednesday, 11 February 2004
Schedule 2 part 2.7 agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Mr Stanhope: Just before the final vote on the bill, Mr Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the very significant work-
MR SPEAKER: I am reminded that you cannot debate this particular issue. We have gone past that point.
Mr Stanhope: When was that point?