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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1719 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

Some consultation comments suggest that identification with a particular gender should be sufficient. Others take the view that surgery provides a clear and irreversible indicator that a person wants to be considered for all purposes a person of a particular gender.

For intersex people the question of regulation of normalising surgery for children is important. This issue was raised in the issues paper and most of the people who commented on that issue thought that there should be some form of regulation.

The Government believes that this is an issue that should be dealt with in the context of other matters relating to consent to medical treatment involving children. It may also be appropriate to consider it at a national level along with regulation of sterilisation surgery for children and people with intellectual disability.

I have asked that the Department of Justice and Community Safety progress this matter separately from the other issues in the discussion paper.

Some people, in commenting on the discussion paper, expressed concern that legislative change should be made to accommodate a small minority.

My strong view is that it is precisely to protect minorities that discrimination legislation is necessary.

This government is committed to fair, equitable treatment for all people and that includes people in all sorts of minority groups. I do not accept the argument that we should not seek to attain equitable treatment under the law for people with particular attributes simply because there are not many of them in our community.

For that reason we will continue to give consideration to these more complex issues surrounding relationships law and the legal treatment of transgender and intersex people.

The Government Report is a valuable insight into community views and legislative provisions about discrimination.

It gives us an idea about where we stand today and a vision of the fairer community we could become.

I commend the Report to all Members and I look forward to working with you to progress this reform process.

Bushfires-departmental submissions to McLeod inquiry

Papers and statement by minister


(Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for the Arts and Heritage and Minister for Police and Emergency Services): For the information of members, I present the following papers:

Operational Response to the January 2003 Bushfires (McLeod Inquiry)-Departmental Submissions-

Report of the Territory Health Controller-Health and Medical Aspects-ACT State of Emergency, 18 to 28 January 2003, dated February 2003.

Copy of Letter from the Chief Executive, Chief Minister's Department, to Mr Ron McLeod, dated 7 May 2003.

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