Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2020 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 13 August 2020) . . Page.. 1918 ..
Madam Speaker, this bill, as presented, will enable the territory to partner with the Sydney and Melbourne buildings’ owners, and work with stakeholders and the broader community, with an overarching objective to renew, restore and breathe new life into these historic Canberra landmarks. We have an opportunity to create great spaces that are better connected to the surrounding city, whilst improving economic outcomes for business owners. We know that the Sydney and Melbourne buildings hold a special place in the hearts of many Canberrans. It is important that this work honours their heritage whilst ensuring that they continue to be appreciated and enjoyed by generations, for decades to come. I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Wall) adjourned to the next sitting.
Sexuality and Gender Identity Conversion Practices Bill 2020
Mr Barr and Mr Rattenbury, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement, and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.
Title read by Clerk.
MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Social Inclusion and Equality, Minister for Tourism and Special Events and Minister for Trade, Industry, and Investment) (10.20): I move:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
I am pleased to present the Sexuality and Gender Identity Conversion Practices Bill 2020, which is co-sponsored by the Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety, Minister Rattenbury. I thank Minister Rattenbury for the collaboration between the two of us to get the bill to this point and particularly acknowledge the input and advice from many individuals and stakeholders right across the community during the two-year development of this legislation.
This bill prohibits certain practices aimed at changing a person’s sexuality or gender identity. These practices are known as conversion practices and they have been shown to cause considerable harm to the people that they are directed towards.
Conversion practices are based in an ideology that LGBTIQ people are somehow “broken” or “unnatural”. These practices encompass a wide range of activities that seek to “fix” people so that they become or express heterosexual or cisgender identity.
Formal and informal conversion practices can take a number of different forms. Amongst other things, these can include counselling, pastoral care programs, and the provision of resources where these are directed explicitly at changing someone’s sexuality or gender identity.
Evidence from survivors of conversion practices in the ACT and around our country reveals the extent and long-term impact of this harm. Conversion practices cause depression, anxiety, suicidality and decreased capacity for intimacy. They lead to poor