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Labor offering ‘nothing new’
The Queensland Association for Healthy Communities (QAHC) has hit out at the Labor Party for failing to commit to LGBT reform in its 2012 election platform.
The ALP was the first to respond to the 2012 Election Survey from Healthy Communities, but has “no new ideas or commitments” to address the needs of LGBT communities, according to QAHC executive director Paul R Martin.
The survey covered law reform, government representation, programs and services, and infrastructure support for Healthy Communities.
“We are deeply disappointed by Labor’s lack of a forward-looking agenda for the LGBT community,” Martin said.
“There is an assumption that LGBT people vote Labor because the alternative is supposedly worse. This is not good enough. We expect Labor to put forward a practical, detailed and costed plan for how they will meet the needs of the LGBT community, should they be re-elected.”
In its response to the survey, the ALP stipulated that it had no plans for further law reform, including equalising the age of consent, but will continue to implement the Civil Partnerships Scheme, play a role in national discussion around sex identity documentation and had begun a review of the Anti-Discrimination Act.
It also made clear that it had no new plans for services to meet the specific needs of LGBT people and communities.
“LGBT people have two to four times the mental illness of the general community, yet there are no specific plans to address our mental health,” Martin said.
“Over half of LGBT people have experienced homophobic/transphobic violence or harassment in the past two years, yet there are no specific plans to protect our safety.”
Labor recently offered Open Doors $50,000 for youth suicide prevention projects (currently under negotiation), and had previously commissioned Healthy Communities to undertake a needs assessment of the LGBT community services sector and produce an online directory ($30,000).
It has also included the LGBT community in Supporting Recovery — Mental Health Community Services Plan 2011-2017, and will continue to provide the Gay and Lesbian Welfare Association with $5000 funding per year.
INFO: Labor’s full response to the survey can be found at www.healthycommunities.org.au/speakout