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Premier – Variation of sex characteristics

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Monday, 6 June 2022


Ms O'CONNOR - Can I ask also, on the matter of people born with a variation of sex characteristics, there was also a Tasmanian Law Reform Institute (TLRI) report which recommended law change, to prevent children who can't give consent, from being mutilated, effectively, at birth. I call on Government to act to outlaw these practices as well. Do you have a response to that issue?

Mr ROCKLIFF - Yes, I do. Again, this is really my responsibility as Minister for Health. I have met with advocates, as you will have done; Simone-Lisa Anderson is an example of that. As a Government, we value the research and analysis undertaken by the Law Reform Institute and I thank them for their continued work. Given the complexity of matters addressed in the 2020 Report on the Recognition of Sex and Gender, at my request, the Department of Health is undertaking detailed analysis of the report's recommendations regarding surgical intervention to alter the sex characteristics of intersex children. I understand that the sex and gender report along with TLRI's 2022 Final Report on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Conversion Practices, addresses interlinked issues surrounding sex and gender.

I have asked my department to work collaboratively with the Department of Justice, to examine these matters and to provide comprehensive advice on action required to respond. The work will consider policy perspectives and the legislative framework from the whole-of-Government perspective, to respond to the recommendations of the TLRI's recent reports.

I hope that provides a succinct enough answer for you.