LGBTI Australian's issues to be heard as Parliamentary Friendship Group launches
Monday, 11 July 2011
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Intersex (LGBTI) Australians will have their issues heard by federal members and senators of parliament from all political persuasions with the formation of the very first Parliamentary Friendship Group for LGBTI Australians.
Federal Member for Leichhardt & Chief Opposition Whip, The Hon Warren Entsch MP who is behind the creation of the group, joined with Federal Member for Moreton, Graham Perrett MP and Senator for South Australia, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young to officially announce the establishment of the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Australians today.
“This is an important step in recognising the divide that exists between policy makers and the LGBTI community. For the first time, Members and Senators will have direct access to information regarding social, legal and health issues.
“Social interaction with Members and Senators of the Federal Parliament will allow LGBTI Australians to raise issues, build awareness and to provide opportunities for these to be discussed and addressed at a legislative level.
There are specific needs in relation to the transgender and intersex community. They include the availability of appropriate identity documents or ensuring government systems correctly identify a person’s affirmed gender. These are issues that have needed addressing and impact negatively on peoples’ lives and are issues I will be strongly advocating for change,” Group Chair Warren Entsch MP said.
Mr Perrett, Group Deputy Chair said, “I know that aged care, estate planning and retirement issues are of serious importance for the LGBTI community, and that government and community preparedness is not as advanced as it could be.”
“LGBTI Australians face numerous issues, ranging from bullying in schools and workplaces through to outdated discrimination under federal legislation or unique health needs.
“It’s important that LGBTI Australians have a voice in the parliament and this parliamentary group provides an opportunity for this to occur,” said Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young.
Details of the first official function of the Parliamentary Friendship Group for LGBTI Australians will be announced within weeks.