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Broken Promises

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 16 November 2023

Tags: LGBTI, Political Leadership

Dr WOODRUFF (Franklin - Leader of the Greens) - Mr Speaker, I move -

That the House take note of the following matter: broken promises.

The hallmark of this Government has been broken promises, but the Greens are especially here on behalf of the LGBTIQA+ community today. We have heard their real grief at the reality that the Government is backflipping on its promise that it has made so many times to that community in such public forums to bring in legislation to ban conversion practices in Tasmania.

It is such harmful legislation that allows these practices to occur here today and we know that these happen in religious communities and in non-religious communities. They are not in any way a form of therapy, they are a form of abuse, harassment, silencing and shutting down a person's fundamental right to express themselves as they wish, to express their sexuality, to express their gender identity, to allow themselves, their inner soul, to be accepted and included in the Tasmanian community.

What we have still existing in Tasmania today are hocus-pocus, damaging, harmful practices which are designed to shut down people. The consequences of that live with people for life because it is fundamentally about letting that person know that you are not one of us, you are doing something wrong and you are not acceptable in the way you are presenting your true self to the community. That is wrong.

The Greens abhor those practices and we strongly support and stand with the LGBTQIA+ community in condemning the Government for breaking its promise, condemning the Premier for all the times he stood at rainbow events and said that this is something he was committed to doing, condemning the Attorney-General for his dishonesty when he stood in front of the camera and told a journalist when he became the Attorney-General that he would be continuing and bringing in that legislation and tabling it in parliament this year. Shame on them for their inaction in this space which is allowing continuing harm to occur to our Tasmanian LGBTQIA+ community every day that this practice exists.

It is not just the matter of conversion. It is also all the other issues we have had from the Liberals in government. First and foremost to the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, the broken promise to work on truth and treaty. The pathway to truth and treaty did not get out of the front gate. It was something about which there was much talk and many conversations and commitments, but we have seen no action towards either of those things under this Government. That is something which should be of deep shame to Jeremy Rockliff as Premier and Roger Jaensch as Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. After all the work and consultation that was done on the pathway report for truth and treaty, all the goodwill and expectations of the community that were raised, what we have today is not just no action down that pathway but an attempt to claw back even further some of the self-determination that the Tasmanian Aboriginal people have finally been able to garner over some core issues about decision-making on the return and management of lands.

We are deeply disappointed on behalf of Tasmanian Aboriginal people at this Liberal Government and what they are presenting as the Government that could have made the changes the Tasmanian Aboriginal community were led to believe were going to happen. That report started us down the pathway and they have finished that process. Today we have cultural heritage being irreparably trashed, yet we do not have any work on the Aboriginal Heritage Act. The years of promises that were made about taking action on that have also fallen on deaf ears and there has been no action. Instead the Government is pushing ahead with legislation, down a pathway Aboriginal people do not want them to go around the Aboriginal Lands Act. It is all bad when it comes to respecting that the Liberals are going to stick to their promises.

Most of all, I want to talk about climate action. Climate action under this Government is about continuing on with business as usual. There has fundamentally been no action when it comes to reducing the emissions from the industrial sectors around the state and the transport, agricultural and waste sectors and the land use change and forestry. Unless we get rid of native forestry we can have no proper emissions reductions in Tasmania, because we know such an enormous amount of our emissions comes from native forest logging and burning.

The Liberals had an opportunity this year to show that they could better themselves, but the Christmas present they have given to Tasmanians is a raft of broken promises.