A MOTION to request a restoration of funds to the Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC) and several other LGBTI-specific motions put forward by the Queensland branch of Rainbow Labor were all successfully — and unanimously — carried during last weekend’s state Labor conference in Brisbane.
State funding for the organisation has been an ongoing issue after the former Newman Liberal National government stripped it of $2.3 million in funding, accusing QuAC of becoming “too political”.
[showads ad=MREC]A restoration of funding was a commitment made to the LGBTI community by Queensland Labor during January’s state election campaign.
Speaking to the Star Observer, Brisbane Central state Labor MP Grace Grace — who moved the motion — said the vote was a significant moment for the conference and the LGBTI community, particularly as it was carried unanimously.
“What this resolution was about was getting those funs to QuAC as soon as possible so that they can carry on the great work that they’ve been doing for the past 30 years,” Grace said.
The language of the motion referred to QuAC as the state’s “peak” LGBTI community health organisation.
“You do need other elements that add to that diversity but I do think that recognising QuAC as the peak organisation is very important,” Grace said.
“They are a very professional organisation that has provided fantastic health prevention, support, education and all kinds of support to the LGBTIQ community. They are second to none and they are truly deserving of their ‘peak’ status.”
QuAC executive director Michael Scott said the motion and Labor’s commitment to restoring funds shows an understanding of the importance of community involvement for organisations such as an HIV and AIDS body.
“It reflects an understanding that organisations need to build rapport and trust within our community over a long period of time, and the unanimous vote shows that Labor understands this.” Scott told the Star Observer.
“It reflects an understanding of the significance of LGBTI peer based organisations being central to the development , implementation and evaluation of projects affecting our community.”
Along with the motion regarding QuAC, several other LGBTI-specific issues were discussed, voted on and also passed unanimously. These included a gender diversity policy specifically for the trans* community with regards to identity documents, as well as equalising the age of consent, expungement of historic homosexual convictions, civil unions and adoption rights.
“Today we continue this commitment by listening to and working with the sex and gender diverse community,” regional member of Queensland Rainbow Labor, Nicholas Thompson said.
“Simplifying the process of gender affirmation and eliminating the need for trans* Queenslanders to have to divorce in order to obtain identity documents procedurally would rectify what is an unnecessarily difficult and discriminatory process.”
The Star Observer understands that a tender process for state funding for the HIV/AIDS sector will be made available this week.[showads ad=FOOT]