Mark McGowan confirms marriage related mental health funding will remain

Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan has confirmed that emergency funding given to assist the LGBTI community through the marriage survey period will remain regardless of the outcome of the High Court challenge.

The McGowan government recently announced that both the WA AIDS Council and Living Proud would both receive a one-off grant of an additional $30,000 to assist members of the LGBTI community who are experiences negative mental health outcomes due to the federal government’s postal survey on marriage.

Speaking to OUTinPerth a few days after the conference the Premier said whatever the outcomes of the High Court challenge on marriage the funds given to provide support to the LGBTIQ community would remain with the organisations.

“We provided additional support to that AIDS Council of $30,000 and $30,000 towards Living Proud. That money is committed and that will stay. That’s in order to assist people who might be affected by the recent campaign in respect to their mental health and that will continue.”

McGowan said the first round of advertisements from the ‘No’ campaign had been “ugly and misleading” and were filled with “ludicrous and embarrassing” claims.

“That can impact on people’s mental health and that’s why we’ve put this funding in place.”

“If the High Court strikes down the plebiscite that money will remain, it’s a modest commitment I admit.” McGowan said.

If Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s plan for a postal survey on marriage is declared invalid by the High Court, Western Australia’s Premier says he should just get on with allowing a free vote in parliament.

“If the High Court strikes down the plebiscite the Prime Minister should just bite the bullet and let the people in parliament have a vote on the bill itself.”

The Premier said the difficulties faced recently by Living Proud where they faced a funding gap which impacted on their services was something that his government was working to reduce.

“We have a process being run by the Minister for Community Development, Simone McGurk, which is about having longer contracts and greater alignment” McGowan said noting that improving the consistency of the timing of funding was a priority.

OUTinPerth spoke one on one with the Premier about a wide range of issues affecting the LGBTI community. Read our interview in the new edition of OUTinPerth magazine this Friday. 

Graeme Watson

Do you need some support?

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, support and counselling are available from:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Beyondblue: and

QLife: and
QLife are a counselling and referral service for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people.

WA AIDS Council has established a counselling service for people affected by the current marriage debate. The support is available online, face-to-face or by calling 1800 671 130.

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