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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 October 2018) . . Page.. 4155 ..


Further, to ensure that any other areas of discrimination against LGBTIQ Canberrans in our legislation are identified, we will undertake an extensive audit of our laws and develop a further reform package to close any identified gaps or loopholes. We will also take a broader look at the entire exceptions framework under the territory’s Discrimination Act in the context of the ACT Law Reform Advisory Council’s recommendations regarding the opportunity for further reform.

We will act because this community does not want discrimination on the basis of sexuality entrenched in our statute books. We will act because we are clear on our principles. We know that Canberrans are inclusive and welcoming and do not accept any form of discrimination. I am confident that removing such potential for discrimination from territory law has the overwhelming support of Canberrans, but, importantly, it is the right thing to do. I commend Ms Orr’s motion to the Assembly.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (11.36): Of course the Greens will be supporting this motion today. As a member of the Greens and a member of the Legislative Assembly elected to reflect the views of the most progressive community in Australia, I and my colleague Ms Le Couteur are passionate about standing up for all Canberrans in matters of discrimination. The ACT Greens have a long and proud history of being at the forefront of these matters. Whether it is the call for marriage equality, for greater representation of women in government and local employment, or increasing support to the multicultural, refugee and newly arrived community, our actions in this space and our views on these matters are well known.

The parliamentary agreement between Labor and the Greens over the past 10 years also highlights our ongoing commitment to confronting these issues practically and tangibly. As a Greens minister of this and the previous Assembly, I have been proud to be part of the work that this ACT government has done to break down discrimination and improve equality in our community.

As minister for education in a time of rising conservatism, and under the most conservative commonwealth government in recent times, I was both saddened and angered to see the utter vitriol directed at LGBTIQ students and families in the safe schools debate. Clearly, that level of personal discrimination entirely justified the safe schools program. I was again proud to be part of a government that fought back and insisted on the continuation of that program and actively worked to ensure its ongoing role in our local education system.

I was also proud to bring forward amendments to the Assembly in 2016 that further sought to protect all Canberrans. Racial vilification was expanded in 2016 to apply to vilification on the grounds of religious conviction and disability. Also in 2016, the grounds of unlawful discrimination were expanded to protect against discrimination on the basis of attributes such as employment status, immigration status and being a victim of domestic and family violence.

The ACT government as a whole threw its support behind the push for marriage equality and we were justified in doing so by the majority vote of our community, in the face of commonwealth inertia and unfortunate bigotry in some elements of the


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