It’s been a week of shocks in Federal politics, most notably with the resignation of Attorney General Nicola Roxon.  Roxon, a forthright and politically-engaged Attorney General should be missed by not only the gay and lesbian community, but by the Australian public as a whole.  She introduced a number of forward-thinking reforms, including plain packaging on cigarette packets, which generated one of the more interesting moments in Australian politics in recent years – two female ministers lauding the success of this law (the other being Health Minister and long time supporter of the gay and lesbian community, Tanya Plibersek).

Nicola Roxon also introduced the long promised exposure draft of consolidated anti-discrimination laws towards the end of last year.  The NSW GLRL has been working over a period of many years behind the scenes towards achieving consolidation of federal anti-discrimination laws, and we urge the new Attorney General Mark Dreyfus to see this legislation through to it’s conclusion.  The NSW GLRL will continue, with other LGBTI organizations, to lobby all sides of politics to get this bill passed.

The other surprise this week was Prime Minister Julia Gillard calling the election for September 14.  We knew there was going to be an election this year, but never anticipated we’d have so much warning!  Election years are great opportunities to get your issues on the public agenda, and extract commitments from candidates.  The GLRL will be working hard to make sure issues faced by the community are on the Federal Government’s agenda.

Mardi Gras season has officially started for the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby.  We held our volunteer information evening last Thursday, but if you didn’t make it along do not despair!  You can still be involved in any number of the exciting activities we’ve got going on this year.

Out first event will be our bucket shaking on Launch night; an evening of fun as we cruise venues on Oxford St and raise much needed funds for the lobby’s campaigns throughout the year.   Launch night will be on Saturday 9th February.

We will also be having a float and would love for you all to join us.  If you would like to get on board with the GLRL’s float please contact us [email protected]

Lainie Arnold • Co-convener NSW GLRL 

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