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Advocates seek meeting with AG Michaelia Cash over LGBTIQ+ protections

LGBTIQ+ advocates have raised concerns that the government’s recent response to sexual harassment laws highlights other reforms are being ignored.

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The Morrison Government recently announced it would be accepting most of the 55 recommendations made in the Respect@Work report, released by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins last year.

Jenkins’ report outlines the long-term effects on the health and wellbeing of women and others who experience harassment, making a number of suggested improvements to various systems including the introduction of a ‘stop sexual harassment order’ to the Fair Work Act, amending the Sex Discrimination Act to ensure it applies to sexual harassment, and for governments to employ gender equality strategies.

The acceptance of the report’s recommendations comes in the wake of serious allegations levelled at various members of the Morrison Government, as well as parliamentary staffers, raising alarms over safety in Australia’s workplaces.

just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome says while they welcome the government’s efforts to better protect women, the decision highlights inaction in other areas.

“We welcome the Government’s commitment to amend the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work Acts in response to the Respect@Work report, but unfortunately those Acts will require further amendments if they are to fully protect LGBTIQ+ people from unfair treatment,” Croome said.

“It has been two and half years since the current Government promised to amend the Sex Discrimination Act to protect LGBTIQ+ students in faith-based schools and still nothing has happened.”

“As shown by high-profile cases of LGBTIQ+ staff being sacked from faith-based schools, the SDA is outdated and needs a complete overhaul.”

“The Fair Work Act also requires updating so it provides full and explicity protection for workers who are trans and gender diverse, and those with variations of sex characteristics.”

Croome said just.equal has sought a meeting with newly-appointed Attorney-General, Michaelia Cash, to request LGBTIQ+ people be fully protected under both laws.

OIP Staff


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