The Australian Greens party on Sunday unveiled its LGBTQI election policy, which includes $900 million in forward estimates to implement its policies for the community. The plan will be funded by the party’s proposed billionaires tax and corporate super-profit tax.
Out Senator Janet Rice told Star Observer that between Prime Minister Scott Morrison using LGBTQI people as “political football” and Labor doing a “disappearing act” on LGBTQI issues, the Greens would have the community’s back.
“The Greens are running strong election campaigns across the country, speaking to voters about the issues that matter to them,” Senator Rice said ahead of the event at the Victorian Pride Centre in Melbourne to release the Greens LGBTQI election policy.
Greens Promise LGBTQI Policies And Law Reforms
The Greens said if elected they will appoint a Minister for Equality and an LGBTQI Human Rights Commissioner. They will also push for law reforms to scrap the exemptions to religious organisations under the anti-discrimination laws.
The Greens have committed to establishing a national LGBTQIA+ health and wellbeing plan and providing $285 million in funds over four years, including $15 million in “dedicated funding to cover the out of pocket costs experienced by trans and gender diverse people in accessing gender-affirming healthcare.”
The policy includes 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”.
The party has proposed to earmark $550 million to address the homelessness and housing crisis in Australia and provide temporary housing services, including for LGBTQI people. Greens have also promised to support LGBTQI people seeking asylum in Australia and the human rights of people with intersex variations.
According to Greens, one in three big corporations pay no tax and many billionaires and big corporations send their profits offshore tax-free. “By making billionaires and big corporations pay their fair share of tax and winding back handouts to big polluters, we can build a better life for all of us,” the Greens policy document said.
‘Greens Will Oppose Senator Chandler’s Anti-Trans Bill’
The election campaign has so far seen LGBTQI people being targeted, first with Morrison’s Religious Discrimination Bill, then anti-LGBTQI social media comments made in the past by Liberal candidate Katherine Deves and the PM endorsing Tasmanian senator Claire Chandler’s private member’s bill to ban trans women from participating in female sports.
“Our current elected Federal team includes two First Nations women, a Senator from a culturally diverse background, a Senator with a disability, and a Senator who identifies as LGBTIQ+ (me). In 2022, the Greens have attracted a strong, diverse team of candidates for local, State and Federal elections across the country, including Victoria’s first all-First Nations Senate ticket. We are proud of our efforts to nurture diversity within the party and that this is reflected in the pre-selection decisions made by the membership,” said Rice.
Senator Rice however would like to see more LGBTQI representation in Parliament. “I think there is a real gap that we don’t have any elected trans people in the federal parliament, and I would like to see more LGBTIQA+ representation. The Greens have a number of gay, trans and gender diverse candidates standing in this election across the country,” added the senator.