Newly elected lesbian Senator Louise Pratt will fight from within to ensure the Labor Party delivers on its promise to implement all 58 federal laws which discriminate against the gay community.

She will be the second openly gay senator in Labor’s parliamentary line-up, joining Climate Change Minister Penny Wong in the Upper House.

The former Western Australia politician, who will take up the State’s Senate seat in July 2008, was a part of the Ministerial Taskforce on Lesbian and Gay Law Reform in Western Australia when the State passed gay and lesbian law reforms five years ago.

The law reforms gave Western Australia some of the most progressive laws in the country.

It is very exciting to be coming in with the change in government, Pratt said.

I think we can already begin to see how different the political landscape is going to be. With John Howard gone, we have a much less conservative Opposition leader as well as a Labor government.

Pratt said law reform for same-sex couples and GLBT individuals would be high on her agenda once she takes up the Senate seat.

The Labor Party has already promised to rectify the 58 pieces of Federal legislation that discriminate against same-sex couples. While the Opposition has said that Labor’s promises were empty ones, Pratt disagrees.

I can only go from my experience. At a State level, we promised we would reform the law and we did, she said.

We have committed to changing the laws at a national level, and Kevin Rudd is already asking his Cabinet colleagues to pursue election promises.

The proof will be in the pudding, and I look forward to having that dialogue with the lesbian and gay community as we undertake the reform agenda.

In addition to gay and lesbian law reform, Pratt said she was looking forward to working on issues of climate change, maternity services and Aboriginal health and poverty.

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