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Crossbench will push for amendments to Quigley’s gender bill

Dr Brian Walker MLC has announced that he will seek to move a number of amendments to the Attorney General’s transgender law reform bill when it comes up for debate in the Legislative Council.

The Legalise Cannabis Party MLC said the government’s bill contained too many outdated and inappropriate conditions, and did not match best practice found in other states.

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“The Quigley Bill is a throwback to the old days of treating gender diverse people as a medical question, rather than as people who should have the right to self-identify,” Dr Walker – himself a practicing GP – explained.

“I support the abolition of the Gender Reassignment Board, but it is not acceptable that WA falls behind other states with regards to the dignity of self-identity, and that the government has dragged its feet on this issue for so long, only to finally present us with a flawed piece of legislation.”

Dr Walker said he had been inspired by Tasmanian legislation, passed some five years ago now, which gave parents the option not to have their child’s sex recorded on the birth certificate.

“Hospitals already record the sex of newborns on internal registers for data purposes. There is no requirement for it to also be on the birth certificate if parents choose that,” he said.

“Why should gender diverse individuals be treated with less consideration here in WA than they are in other Australian jurisdictions? It smacks of, at best, a half-hearted nod to the LGBTQI+ community by the Cook Government, and in this day and age, that is simply not acceptable.”

While a report on the laws recommended removing the requirement for sex to be recorded on birth certificates, the government immediately ruled it out. After years of delays Attorney General John Quigley introduced legislation to remove the WA Gender Reassignment Board last month.

Liberal leader Libby Mettam has said her party is yet to form a view on the proposed change, and it is not known if they will support the legislation. Former Liberal Premier Colin Barnett shared his view that the board should be abolished all the way back in 2016.

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