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Premier – SOGI Conversion Practices

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Monday, 6 June 2022


Ms O'CONNOR - Premier, this year the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute released their report on sexual orientation and gender identity conversion practices. I know this is in area in which you have significant interest and concern. Do you support the recommendations in the report? When will you respond to the report? Will you initiate the reform process to prohibit the unscientific and dangerous practice of conversion therapy?

Mr ROCKLIFF - Thank you for the question. I have read the report. I have met with people who have been through conversion practices, albeit through a Zoom meeting. I understand how much it has affected individuals to the detriment of their wellbeing, to put it mildly. I am interested in the recommendations of the report. There are some 16 recommendations, as you would be aware. Around half of those recommendations pertain to my responsibility as Minister for Health and Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing. A number of other matters are the responsibility of the Attorney-General. The Attorney-General and I are working together.

Ms O'CONNOR - Do you support a ban on conversion therapy?

Mr ROCKLIFF - I support acting on the recommendations of the Law Reform Institute report. As I was about to explain, the Attorney-General and I are working together on these matters. I will be leading the change.

Ms O'CONNOR - There will be a change?


Ms O'CONNOR - There will? That’s what I wanted to hear.

Mr ROCKLIFF - I'm not going to have 16 recommendations and do nothing - I can tell you that right now. I'll be introducing legislation to the Parliament that gives effect to the recommendations.

Ms O'CONNOR - Thank you.

Mr ROCKLIFF - Naturally, there will be a consultation process. It is clear to me, as Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, that there needs to be change. I do take this very seriously. For example, a person shouldn't be considered to have a mental illness by reason only of their gender identity. I agree with that.

Ms O'CONNOR - That is right.

Mr ROCKLIFF - I've always stood strongly for equality and I will continue to do so; but, as you'd appreciate, it’s a comprehensive report. Various agencies have been charged with considering the advice from agencies as soon as possible. The usual practice for receiving such a report is it obtain departmental advice, and at the present time the Attorney-General and I are seeking that advice.