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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 October 2018) . . Page.. 4156 ..


debate. This work to fight against the barriers and unjust challenges facing people in our community has not ended with these actions.

The Justice and Community Safety Directorate, in coordination with other relevant directorates, has continued to monitor cases and examples of discrimination that are still occurring. I, like the Chief Minister, was disappointed to learn that the issue of gender and sexuality discrimination may still be allowed in religious or independent education systems. I can assure members that these loopholes have been closely examined. As the Chief Minister has flagged in his remarks, we will move quickly to address those matters.

I was also disappointed, but not surprised, that there were members of the federal Liberal Party that saw this recent exposure of the Ruddock review as an opportunity not to address the issue but instead to suggest that these should be areas that should continue. I have been very heartened by community polls nationally that show the majority of Australians do not support having these sorts of discrimination measures in our legislation. I think that gives further impetus to this Assembly to act quickly in order to reflect community views.

I think that community views were really captured in the poll on marriage equality. I think this demonstrates that our community is a tolerant community that does not see a place for these sorts of discriminations. That gives me great heart that Australians do get this in that very simple way. It just does not pass the pub test as they see it, to use that way of how to measure things now. They actually want all Australians to be recognised equally.

Unfortunately in these debates, we do see members of the LGBTIQ community having their basic rights discussed in the national media as though those rights are somehow less than others. I know it is hurtful for people. That is why it is so important that, as members of this place, we take the opportunity to state our views as community leaders and then fight back against those comments and that sort of political analysis.

That is an important part of having a discussion like the discussion today. I welcome the fact that Ms Orr has brought this motion forward, in the context of some of the recent discussions, so that we again have the opportunity to put our view that we do not accept any analysis that suggests some lesser rights for members of the LGBTIQ community. I would like to assure all members that this is certainly not a response that the Greens support. As I say, that is why it is important that we have that opportunity to state it today.

Beyond today’s debate, and beyond the next tranche of amendments to be considered, I will also be working closely with my cabinet colleagues to ensure that there are no other such loopholes available when it comes to issues of employment, education or access to services. I welcome the Chief Minister’s announcement today of the further work that will be done by the government.

It does not matter whether or not these loopholes have not been used; the fair and just society we live in has moved beyond that “don’t ask, don’t tell” situation. We need to


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