Page 5015 - Week 13 - Thursday, 12 November 2009
very much on the Government’s agenda in 2006, as they had been in 2003, 2004 and 2005. In 2006, the Department’s work program included the proposed consideration of the issues generally, including the matters specifically raised in the Estimates Committee hearings.
(2) and (3)
I will answer questions (2) and (3) together.
The matters covered in the 2003 Government Report to the Legislative Assembly were the subject of various briefings by the Department to the Government. The Department’s work program included consideration of transgender issues generally. I understand from both the briefing material and the work program that all of the issues raised in relation to transgendered people were open to consideration.
Work on some transgender issues have progressed significantly, whereas in some areas the Government recognises that much remains to be done. Specific and precise responses to each of the four parts to this question, as would be the case with each of the seven parts to question (3), would necessitate considerable work in re-tracing the steps of a number of working units within the Department, some of which no longer exist.
I would point out, however, that since 2003, the Government’s strong focus has been on the protection of rights of all members of the ACT community, including transgender people, through the Government’s development of the Human Rights Act 2004 and establishment the Human Rights Commission in 2005. This is in addition to the Government’s development of the Civil Unions Act 2006 (and its successor, the Civil Partnerships Act 2008) – including the provisions that the Greens propose to restore through the Civil Partnerships Amendment Bill 2009. The focus has been on recognition and protection of the rights of all people, no matter what their sex.
The issues affecting transgender people are, as I know Mr Rattenbury is aware, complex and diverse. To the extent that these issues are not addressed by general policy and legislative reform, they do require specific consideration and action. It has not been possible to devote the Department’s resources to all of the important matters requiring review.
I should also point out that transgender issues, particularly those issues relating to gender reassignment and recording the alteration of a person’s sex, are matters of ongoing consideration by all jurisdictions. This Government would support a nationally coordinated review of all such issues.
Law reform—gender issues
(Question No 316)
Mr Rattenbury asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 17 September 2009:
(1) In relation to the 2009 Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) report Sex Files: the legal recognition of sex in Government documents and records which makes a series of recommendations for State, Territory and Federal Governments to remove legislative discrimination against sex and gender diverse communities when it comes to legal recognition of sex, what is the ACT Government’s response to recommendations 1 to 9 of this report within the framework of the ACT Human Rights Act.