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Libby Mettam says Liberals yet to reach position on abolishing gender board

WA Liberal leader Libby Mettam has revealed that her party is yet to reach a position on whether they will support proposed legislation to remove the WA Gender Reassignment Board.

Western Australia is the only state to retain the antiquated process that forces transgender people to prove they have undergone medical treatment and publicly lived as the gender they identify with, and there has been calls to remove the board for over a decade.

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Speaking to The West Australian on Monday Mettam said the Liberals were yet to decide if they would support the move the remove the board.

The new legislation would remove the cumbersome board process, which many transgender people have described as a distressing experience, and instead replace it with a simple administrative process with the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages.

“As a party we will consider that legislation and come to a position.” Mettam said, noting it was a completely separate issue to her party’s position on health care for transgender youth.

On Monday Mettam announced the Liberals policy against allowing transgender youth to access puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones.

Mettam announced a government she led would ban the treatment, and then conduct an investigation into the practices used my medical professionals to ascertain if they were causing harm to young people.

Calls to remove the Gender Reassignment Board have been made for over a decade.

In 2016 Premier Colin Barnett proposed that the operations of the board could be simplified and transferred to the State Administrative Tribunal.

The board itself has questioned its relevance and appropriateness on multiple occasions over the years. Curtis Ward, the current President of the Gender Reassignment Board, also supports calls for it to be removed.

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