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Attorney-General and Justice – SOGI Conversion Practices

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Monday, 6 June 2022


Dr WOODRUFF - Attorney-General, nationally there are one in 20 LGBTQI+ Australians who experience formal conversion practices and this is research from LaTrobe University. Those people are four to five times more likely to experience PTSD and to attempt suicide than other young LGBTIQA+ people. In Tasmania, the figures are the same and 97 per cent of people exposed to conversion practices have reported being exposed to ideology that tells them they're broken and can be fixed. The Tasmanian Law Reform Institute report proposes to change the Mental Health Act to stop assessment and treatment of sexual orientation and gender identity as a mental health issue; to change the Health Complaints Act to allow complaints and investigations; the Anti Discrimination Act to prohibit disinformation and promotion of conversion practices and allow complaints; the Civil Liability Act to provide redress and classify conversion practices on children as a form of child abuse; and the Criminal Code to provide redress for serious physical or mental harm and to classify conversion practices on children as a form of child abuse.

Do you commit to implementing the TLRI's recommendations in relation to those acts to make it very clear that conversion practices are not acceptable in Tasmania?

Ms ARCHER - Thank you, Dr Woodruff. It's sort of a segue almost - I was saying to Ms Haddad in relation to the Premier and I needing to work together on something. This is another thing that we need to have our respective departments look at because a large majority of the recommendations are in the Health or Mental Health and Wellbeing portfolio, which is the Premier, and then as you've identified in the second part of those recommendations it falls under my responsibility. So, we are acutely aware of that.

At the outset I thank the TLRI for their report and for some very detailed and informative recommendations. Obviously we need to consider that, and that's what we're currently doing and that's what we're committed to doing. So, the Premier and I sought advice from our relevant agencies. It's complex law reform, proposals and recommendations, but we are looking at this as a priority. I note your acknowledgement earlier that there's a lot that my department is doing and every time a report is issued and I say it's a matter of priority, I am sure they all squirm because it places pressure on everyone.

But this is a matter of priority for the Premier and I and I know our departments are looking at that. As a Government we take this report very seriously and it's concerning to hear of any such practices in the community and that is why we are looking at the recommendations positively and as a priority.