Examining Helen Dalton MP’s Amendments to the Equality Bill | The Catholic Weekly

Helen Dalton MP, the Independent member for Murray, raised 16 amendments to the seven-member committee, all of which were defeated, before the report was released on 3 June recommending the draft legislation be considered by parliament. 

She says the bill goes further than simply promoting the equality of LGBT persons and, if passed, will direct much-needed resources from the bush to city electorates. 

The green light for debate comes despite an online survey by the NSW Legislative Assembly Committee on Community Services indicating 85 per cent of more than 13,000 respondents were opposed to the bill and the vast majority also opposed to its specific recommendations. 

Dalton first moved that the report recommend the parliament not proceed to consider the Equality Legislation Amendment (LGBTIQA+) Bill 2023. 

Also voted down were Dalton’s attempts to insert arguments from advocacy group Women’s Forum Australia against the decriminalisation of prostitution due to its “harmful and exploitative nature,” and the Feminist Legal Clinic against reducing prohibitions against commercial surrogacy laws. 

Both proposals are in the bill, which recommends changes to 20 different laws. 

Dalton wanted the testimony of Genspect Australia about new evidence of harms associated with the use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones on children and young people, and the growing number of detransitioners, to be included in the report, which only mildly notes that “stakeholders called for caution” on providing access to these. 

“I’m not at all discriminatory but I think that this bill is really bad for women and girls and is a real step back for us in the bush,” she said. 

“Most of our pools have been built years ago, we don’t have little change cubicles that can give you privacy, and I don’t know if I want my eight-year-old girl getting changed in the same room as basically a man who’s expecting to be [regarded as] a woman.  

“I don’t think that’s acceptable for most people. We haven’t got any equivalence with medical care [in the cities] or anything like that.  

“We’re just so far behind and I can just see if this bill passes that it will be even worse for us when we’re trying to just get the basics for the majority of people.” 

Source: Examining Helen Dalton MP’s Amendments to the Equality Bill | The Catholic Weekly

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