Discrimination in faith-based schools
Victorian, ACT and Tasmanian laws currently protect LGBTIQ+ students, staff and clients from discrimination in faith-based schools and services.
Q: Will you vote for an amendment to the federal Sex Discrimination Act to provide similar protections nationally?
The Australian Greens have consistently advocated for changes to legislation to remove discrimination, including introducing amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act and the Fair Work Act that would have provided protections for LGBTQA+ teachers and students, and prevented religious schools from discriminating when they provide services to the general public.
The Australian Greens will continue to advocate for these changes in future Parliaments, to ensure we can achieve genuine equality. We will specifically commit more than $24m over four years, and additional funding on an ongoing basis, to protect LGBTIQA+ rights in law, including:
- a review of outdated provisions of the Sex Discrimination Act (including s43A), and opportunities to strengthen it including providing protections for LGBTIQA+ people from vilification and hate-based conduct, and;
- removing discrimination exemptions for religious organisations.
Suicide and Mental health
National studies show LGBTIQ+ people continue to experience higher than average rates of mental health issues and suicide ideation due to stigma and discrimination.
Q: Do you support the development of a national LGBTIQ+ mental health and suicide strategy?
Mental health care is expensive, hard to find, and appointments can take months to get because of long wait lists. Most of the time, the Medicare rebate for mental health care doesn’t cover the full cost of seeing psychologists and psychiatrists. Under the Greens plan for mental health, we will:
- Invest $4.8 billion to ensure mental healthcare is fully covered under Medicare by providing unlimited; sessions with a psychologist or psychiatrist with no out of pocket fees so everyone can get the support they need, when they need it, at every stage of their mental health journey;
- Invest $2.5 billion to implement a national rollout of the Individual Placement and Support program to help young people impacted by poor mental health find stable work;
- Increase the number of peer workers by 1,000 workers, so those with lived experience can provide invaluable support to those going through recovery, and;
- Advocate for the development of specialised, ongoing mental health training for medical students and GPs.
To address the specific needs of LGBTIQA+ community members, under the National LGBTIQA+ Health and Wellbeing Plan, the Greens will provide $200m in funding to go towards LGBTIQA+ health priorities, including to:
- Implement the National LGBTIQ+ Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Strategy, and;
- Establish a National Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Suicide Prevention
National studies show young LGBTIQ+ Tasmanians still experience above average levels of bullying and discrimination in schools.
Q: Do you support more funding to reduce levels of bullying and discrimination against LGBTIQ+ school students?
The Greens will make schools safer for LGBTIQA+ students and teachers, including particularly trans, gender diverse and non-binary people by:
● removing provisions that enable discrimination in schools on religious grounds, including s38 of the Sex Discrimination Act;
● providing over $50m in funding to enable every current and new teacher to receive training on LGBTIQA+ inclusion, and refreshers every five years;
● creating and implementing guidelines and an inclusive curriculum for schools, including ensuring that the health and physical education curriculum, including sexual education, is LGBTIQA+ inclusive;
● scrapping the School Chaplains Program and investing the $61m a year in secular, inclusive support for students through counsellors and anti-bullying initiatives such as the Safe Schools Program, and
● requiring that all services (including health and social services) that receive government funding must be required to agree to anti-discriminatory practices.
The National Census does not collect the kind of data about LGBTIQ+ Australians that is required to set funding priorities in health and community services. The Australian Bureau of Statistics supports asking questions about sex, gender, variations of sex characteristics and sexual orientation.
Q: Do you support adding these questions to the Census?
The Australian Greens believe that the contribution of people with diverse sexualities, gender identities, intersex variations and their communities is unique and valuable to the Australian community. That’s why we want to see the Australian Bureau of Statistics and other relevant agencies to improve statistical data collection on people with diverse sexualities, gender identities, and intersex variations, and their families.
The Greens will allocate $10m in dedicated funding to implement Australian Bureau of Statistics 2020 Standard on Sex, Gender, Variations in Sex Characteristics, and Sexual Orientation Variables in data collection across Government, including through the Census.
As part of the work of the Minister for Equality, the Greens will call for a review of the Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender to allow people to update their gender markers through a simple, whole-of-government administrative process.
We will also provide $600,000 per year in dedicated funding to support ongoing data collection on the needs and experiences of LGBTIQ+ communities, such as the Private Lives and Writing Themselves In projects.
Gender affirmation and Medicare
Gender affirming treatment is not covered by Medicare and more mental health resources are needed by trans and gender diverse people.
Q: Do you support Medicare covering gender affirming treatments and boosting the mental health resources for trans and gender diverse people?
There are significant gaps and barriers for people trying to access gender affirming healthcare. In addition to the broader measures set out as part of the national health and wellbeing plan, the Greens will provide dedicated funding of $15 million to cover the out of pocket costs experienced by trans, gender diverse and non binary people in accessing gender affirming healthcare.
As set out in our policy, the Greens believe that trans, gender diverse and non binary young people should have the freedom to affirm their gender, and that any medical interventions involved in this process should be guided by the young person, their families and their medical specialists. That’s why we want to see the removal of the requirement of a court order to allow access to hormone treatment for transgender young people.
Gender affirming birth certificates
At the moment in some Australian jurisdictions some citizens must have costly, unnecessary and potentially risky surgery and sterilisation to change the gender on their birth certificate, while in others all that’s required is a signed gender registration form.
Q: Do you support Tasmania's gold-standard legislation for gender-affirming birth certificates to be applied nationally?
At the Australian Greens, we believe that people have the right to self-identify their gender, which is integral to people's lived experiences as citizens and members of the community. We recognise transgender and non-binary gender identities exist and are valid, and any documentation should reflect that.
Children with innate variations of sex characteristics are still being subject to non-consenting and medically unnecessary interventions to "normalise" their sex characteristics. The Australian Human Rights Commission has recommended a ban on such medical interventions.
Q: Do you support nationally-consistent legislation to protect the human rights of children with innate variations of sex characteristics in medical settings?
Q: Will you support resourcing for community-based peer and family support in place of these harmful surgical practices?
The Australian Greens will provide $132m in funding to implement the Darlington Statement developed by Australian and Aotearoa/New Zealand organisations and independent advocates for the rights of people with intersex variations. That implementation plan will include:
- Funding for the public service to examine and begin implementation of a redress scheme for people with intersex variations who have undergone forced or coerceive medical practices;
- Work to examine a nationally consistent, legislated approach to preventing so-called ‘normalising’ medical interventions, undertaken without consent, on people with intersex variations;
- $3m per year for additional funding to better understand and support the needs of people with intersex variations
- $4m in funding for community lead organisations, to support advocacy and peer-support, and;
- $4m per year for additional funding for education of health, welfare and allied professionals in issues relating to intersex variations, including human rights issues.
Discrimination in the workplace
People who are intersex, trans or gender diverse cannot lodge complaints of workplace discrimination in a clear, efficient and cost-effective way.
Q: Will you support amending the Fair Work Act so it explicitly protects intersex, trans and gender diverse people from discrimination in the same way as the Sex Discrimination Act?
Society should be free of harassment, abuse, vilification, stigmatisation, discrimination, disadvantage or exploitation on the basis of the actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex variations of a person, or someone they are associated with.
The Australian Greens have consistently advocated for changes to legislation to remove discrimination, including introducing:
- amendments that would have provided protections under the Fair Work Act for trans and gender diverse people and people with intersex variations;
amendments to the the Fair Work Act that would have provided protections for LGBTQA+ teachers and students, and prevented religious schools from discriminating when they provide services to the general public.
Discrimination in sport
Senator Claire Chandler has introduced a Bill that would allow transgender women and girls to be excluded from women's sport, despite existing provisions working well for many years and no sporting code asking for such legislation.
Q: Will you vote against this Bill and speak out against the exclusion of trans and gender diverse people?
The Greens have always been vocal opponents of the Liberal party’s scapegoating of trans women and girls to pander to transphobes for votes.
The ability to participate in sport can have tremendous health and wellbeing benefits. Sport and physical activity more broadly have been linked to reduce risk of illness, physical and mental health benefits, and stronger social connections.
Sadly, many members of LGBTIQA+ communities still face major barriers to participating in sport:
- 80% of all sports participants in Australia have experienced or witnessed discrimination on the basis of sexuality;
- In a survey of LGBTIQA+ people, more than half of all transgender people, a quarter of males and 10% of females avoided playing sports they would like to play because of their sexuality or gender identity;
- Nearly half of all LGBTIQA+ sports participants aren’t out as sexuality or gender diverse to their sporting peers.
Those barriers are even higher for trans, gender diverse and non-binary people.
The research shows that most women who play community sports are not concerned about the inclusion of trans women and girls.
On the issue of the belief that trans women have an unfair advantage or that it’s unsafe for them to play with and against cisgender women, theSex Discrimination Act already includes a specific provision to address this, and key sporting bodies have already done extensive work on this issue.
As set out in the legislation, s42 provides a very broad exemption, enabling people to be excluded from sports where the “strength, stamina or physique of competitors is relevant”. In fact, building on the legislative framework, the Australian Human Rights Commission, working together with Sport Australia and the major sporting codes, released in 2019 the Guidelines for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in sport. Those Guidelines “ provide practical assistance on how to create and promote an inclusive environment in Australian sport for transgender and gender diverse people. The Guidelines are relevant to all sporting organisations, from national sporting bodies, to state and local associations.”
We will always fight to include trans and gender diverse people, in every walk of society, including in sport. The Australian Greens support the work undertaken by Proud 2 Play and other national and community organisations around Australia to improve inclusion in sport. The Greens will commit $10m in funding for public education about the importance of inclusion for trans, gender diverse and non binary people, including in sport. We will always fight against changes to s42 of the Sex Discrimination Act that seek to make it harder for trans, gender diverse and non binary people to participate in sport.
We will always vote against any Bill that seeks to increase discrimination against trans and gender diverse people.
The UK, France and other countries have dropped their ban on gay and trans people donating blood. Instead, they assess all donors for individual risk.
Q: Do you support a similar policy being adopted in Australia?
The current regulations on donating blood based on sexual activity are manifestly inconsistent with the science and technology on detecting blood borne viruses. This unnecessarily limits the blood supply and prevents many people from being blood donors. We believe that Australia should adopt an approach in line with international best practice, matching countries such as the United Kingdom and others which have removed discriminatory barriers to blood donations and replacing them with individual risk assessments.
To work towards addressing those discriminatory barriers, we will commit $5 million to the Therapeutic Goods Administration to review opportunities to improve on the current framework, and an additional $1 million per year ongoing to address unnecessary barriers.
Conversion practices on LGBTIQ+ people are still occurring with only three states passing bans, some less effective than others.
Q: Do you support high national standards for banning conversion practices on LGBTIQ+ people including coverage of informal and religious settings, and criminal penalties?
We know from survivors that the LGBTQ+ Conversion movement extends further than formalised ‘therapies’ and that sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts pervade some religious communities, faith-based organisations, schools and the counselling industry in dangerous ways.
The Greens will adopt and provide $125m to fund the approach recommended in the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Change Efforts Survivor Statement, including funding for survivor groups, a national inquiry, a public health and awareness campaign, and work towards developing a redress scheme.
That will explicitly include $1 million per year in funding for LGBTIQA+ faith based orgs and survivor groups to do self advocacy and fund expanded scope of existing LGBTIQA+ orgs to deliver self advocacy outcomes for conversion practices.
It will also include $1.5m over 3 years for a public health and awareness campaigns to explicitly target those at risk of the movement’s influence and refute its ideology, key messages, assertions and false and misleading claims.
We will continue to advocate at state and federal levels for a complete ban on ‘reparative’, sexual orientation and gender identity conversion therapies. The Australian Greens were the only political party to outright oppose the Religious Discrimination Bill 2021 because of its overrides of existing state and territory antidiscrimination protections, and the impact that it would have on LGBTIQA+ communities, women, disabled people, and people of minority faiths.
Community / government relations
There is no formal liaison between the LGBTIQ+ community and the Federal Government.
Q: Do you support the establishment of LGBTIQA+ reference groups in relevant government agencies including health, education and foreign affairs?
Currently, we acknowledge, there is a lack of coordinated work being done with the LGBTQIA+ community by the government. To build a specialised, coordinated advisory group on LGBTQIA+ issues, the community needs to be heard consistently across government, in a way that recognises the intersectional nature of cross-portfolio questions and issues.
As part of our plan, we will provide $10 million in funding for departments and agencies across government to develop reference or advisory groups on specific portfolio issues that impact LGBTIQ+ communities.
In addition, the Greens will:
● Appoint a Minister for Equality, supported within a Department, to ensure issues affecting LGBTIQA+ communities are represented in cabinet;
● Appoint an LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner, to ensure LGBTIQA+ people are protected from discrimination on the basis of sex, sexuality, gender identity and sex characteristics; and
● Establish a Ministerial Advisory Group to provide strategic advice to all ministers, and ensure decisions regarding LGBTIQA+ communities are made only after meaningful consultation. The work of the group will be supported by working groups across departments that will ensure a whole of government approach to policy making.
- Provide a $70 million grants fund for community groups, including consultation with advisory group about priorities and a transparent allocation process
Affected groups within the LGBTIQA+ community have identified the following strategies as important to them.
Q: Do you support these strategies?
Aged-care strategy (senior LGBTIQ+ people)
Homelessness strategy (LGBTIQA+ young people and those living in rural areas)
Indigenous Australian strategy (first Nations LGBTIQA+ people).
National family violence prevention strategy for LGBTIQA+ people and their families (LGBTIQA+ allies, Indigenous and CALD people)
We have an ageing population and there is not enough care for older people in our community and they do not have access to treatment that is good enough. It’s time that older people in our country are given the level of care they need. The Greens plan for Aged Care includes:
- $6 billion per year to increase hours of care to 4 hours 18 minutes per resident per day, introduce staff to resident ratios, increase wages by 25% and improve conditions and training;
- Guaranteeing a human rights based approach to aged care and physical and chemical restraints, and;
- Investing $260 million to keep the home care package waiting list clear.
As part of this approach, the Greens will work to ensure that the needs of LGBTIQA+ older Australians are met, including addressing barriers in accessing safe and culturally appropriate aged care services.
The Australian Greens also want core and ongoing funding to grow and support LGBTIQA+ community-controlled organisations that support people with diverse sexualities, gender identities and intersex variations. That’s why we will provide a $70 million grants fund for community groups, including establishing and consulting with the Ministerial Advisory group about priorities and a transparent allocation process. This funding will support groups that are engaging with the aged care sector such as LGBTIQ+ Health Australia’s Silver Rainbow project, including exploring how they can broaden existing services to provide home support to older LGBTIQA+ people as part of My Aged Care.
More and more people are locked out of home ownership and at the mercy of the private rental market. Liberal and Labor have given big banks, property developers and the real estate industry too much power, and now rents have gone through the roof. As a result, homelessness is on the rise and the waiting list for public housing is growing.
Over a million Australian households are paying more in rent than they can afford. The Greens plan includes:
- Building one million new publicly-owned, affordable, high-quality and sustainable homes;
- Establishing national standards for renters rights – including capping rent increases, stopping ‘no-grounds’ evictions and supporting tenants to make their house a home;
- Increasing funding to tenants advocacy services by $30 million a year, and;
- Boosting funding for homelessness services by $550 million per year over the next ten years.
As part of our housing commitments, the Australian Greens will commit $25 million to specifically address the housing needs of LGBTIQA+ Australians, including trans, gender diverse and non-binary people.
The Australian Greens firmly believe that there is no justice on this land without First Nations justice, and are working towards Treaty and Justice alongside our incredible First Nations candidates. The Greens plan for Treaty includes:
● $250m for a national Truth and Justice Commission, an independent body with the powers of a Royal Commission. The Commission would investigate and reveal historic and ongoing human rights abuses, wrongdoing, and provide recommendations on how to heal from them.
- The Truth and Justice Commission will lay the foundations to engage and involve the community in discussing, raising awareness and developing the Treaty or Treaties.
For First Nations communities, agency and community-led work is paramount. In our plan to support peer-led and community-supported LGBTQIA+ health, the Australian Greens will provide $70 million grants fund over four years from 1 July 2022 for LGBTIQA+ community-controlled health organisations; as part of that work, we will ensure that procurement and tendering processes appropriately prioritise LGBTIQA+ community-controlled organisations within the funding program.
NATIONAL FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION:
The Greens recognise that LGBTIQA+ people experience higher risk of family, domestic and sexual violence, and often struggle to access advice and support.
The Greens have committed $12 billion for the next National Plan, focusing on prevention, early intervention, frontline response and recovery services. The plan will fund dedicated, secure, long-term funding for specialist services, including for LGBTIQA+ victim-survivors, fund data collection and research bodies to better understand and address the drivers of violence, and strengthen and harmonise criminal justice responses.
We will also fund comprehensive, expert-led, age-appropriate Respectful Relationships Education in all public schools which will address gender diversity and same sex relationships. We are committed to full implementation of all recommendations in Set the Standard, including strategies for greater diversity and inclusivity in parliament and parliamentary workplaces.
We have also called for similar workplace inclusivity strategies for the Australian Public Service. As part of our commitment to addressing family, domestic and sexual violence, the Australian Greens will commit $30m towards:
- Including LGBTIQA+ people in the next National Plan, including funding targeted actions in the next National Plan that specifically address violence against LGBTIQ+ people, and;
- Engage with LGBTIQA+ community controlled organisations to deliver the recommendations made in the Australian Human Rights Commission report Set the Standard.
Bisexual Australians remain invisible and their needs often are unmet. The following priority was ranked 1st by both bi respondents and all respondents.
Q: Do you support a national public education strategy in relation to Bi+ issues to raise awareness and address specific issues faced by bisexual people among the general population and service providers, and within the LGBTIQA+ communities.
At the Australian Greens, we are committed to working against bi-erasure, and make sure that bisexual people form an important part of our community-led advocacy for LGBTQIA+ equality. To commit to this plan, the Greens will:
- Establish strong Bi+ representation in the LGBTIQ+ Ministerial advisory group.
- Invest $3 million capped funding over four years from 1 July 2022 for bisexual-specific mental health programs and services.
- Provide $1 million capped funding over four years from 1 July 2022 invested in a public awareness campaign to reduce biphobia in the community.
- Improve access to family and intimate partner violence services for Bi+ people.
- Fund community-lead research into the issues that are important to the Bi+ community.
Additionally, Senator Rice is proud of being the only out Bi+ parliamentarian in the Australian parliament, and speaking out abotu bi+ issues in the Senate which is playing a role in increasing visibility and awareness of bi+people.
Asexual and aromantic people
Asexual and aromantic Australians are often ignored and their needs sidelined. The following priority was rated 1st.
Q: Do you support information about asexuality should be included in sex education at school?
At the Australian Greens, we believe that every child should grow up with knowledge about identities, especially their own, and understand their place in the world. To complement this, we advocate for the education system to provide age-appropriate information to students, and training and resources to teachers, about respectful relationships and the diversity of sexuality, gender identity, intersex variations and family structures.
Under our policy for the academic development of LGBTQIA+ students in schools, we will be creating and implementing guidelines and an inclusive curriculum for schools, including ensuring that the health and physical education curriculum, including sexual education, is LGBTIQA+ inclusive - and will include information on people on the asexual and aromantic spectrum.
We also believe that for LGBTQIA+ communities who have traditionally experienced erasure and lack of agency and representation in education, people with lived experiences are the best advocates for their community. This is why The Australian Greens want core and ongoing funding for community organisations established to support people with diverse sexuality, gender identities and intersex variations. That’s why we will provide a $70 million grants fund for community groups, including consultation with the Ministerial Advisory Group about priorities and a transparent allocation process - so the community can be best supported in advocacy that represents them.
LGBTIQA+ people with disability
LGBTIQA+ people with a disability are too often ignored and discriminated against within the LGBTIQA+ and the disability communities. The following priority was identified by LGBTIQA+ people with a disability.
Q: Do you support further training of disability workers, including health care and NDIS staff, on the issues facing LGBTIQA+ people with disability?
Disabled people continue to fall through the cracks and are often denied the same rights as everyone else. Successive Liberal and Labor governments have perpetuated the discrimination of disabled people, often denying them access to inclusive education, meaningful employment, adequate services, and the support they need. The Greens will remove the barriers, fix the systems, and eliminate the structural discrimination disabled people face.
Our plan includes:
- Fully resource the NDIS so it meets the needs of disabled people, their families and carers;
- Make disabled people's physical and digital worlds accessible, including by establishing a new $3 billion Accessible Infrastructure Fund;
- Champion inclusive education and employment by establishing a 20% quota for full disabled employee representation in the Australian Public Service by 2030;
- Create more accessible housing and healthcare through co-designed planning, policies, and implementation of Liveable Housing Australia Silver Standard across the country;
- Ensure disabled people are at the centre of decision-making, policy and planning through $30 million increase in Commonwealth funding for disability advocacy organisations over four years.
As part of these reforms, the Greens will ensure that the voices of LGBTIQA+ people with disability are central and their needs addressed and funded when implementing the findings of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.