For the first time since the Rudd Government was elected, the quarterly roundtable meeting of federal, state and territory Attorneys-General had no progress on GLBTI, parenting and anti-discrimination reforms.
Last week’s Standing Committee of Attorneys General (SCAG) meeting in Alice Springs focused on topics including indigenous justice, organised crime, and violence against women and children.
However, ongoing reforms being conducted as part of SCAG include harmonising state laws governing surrogacy, anti-discrimination and vilification.
Earlier this year the group launched the National Anti-Discrimination Information Gateway website www.antidiscrimination.gov.au as the first step towards harmonising the inconsistent laws. The website describes the different complaint systems people can access as a stopgap measure.
A working group is still considering a surrogacy discussion paper prepared by the Australian Health Ministers Conference.
Pressure is also on South Australia to refer powers governing same-sex and de facto couples to the Federal Government, giving them access to the Family Court of Australia.