Nationals respond to just.equal election policy survey

Leader of the State National Party, Mia Davies MLA, has responded to the LGBTI policy survey sent to her by just.equal in December last year.

The survey, issued to all WA Party leaders, asked each to outline their positions on conversion practices, Inclusive Education (Safe Schools), intersex law reform, transgender law reform, special religious exemptions and hate-speech.

In a letter to the advocacy group leader Mia Davies responded saying the National party was founded on the principle of that all people deserve relevant services and and protections against discrimination regardless of where they live in the state.

Davies declined to state a party position on the issues raised by just.equal saying each individual member of the party would be able to make their own conscience vote on the issues. The leader encouraged people to contact each member individually to ask what their stance would be, before listing a number of party policies.

WA spokesperson for just.equal, Brian Greig, welcomed the response but said it was concerning that it was “light on detail.”

“Rather than answer the six questions directly, Ms Davies says that all these issues would be a conscience vote for her party and every National candidate would have to be surveyed separately.

“Ms Davies did not offer her own views on these six policy areas.”

Brian Greig said some current polling indicated the WA Liberal Party may be wiped out at this election, perhaps even losing the numbers to remain as the Opposition.

“If this happens the WA National Party with a greater number of MPs in parliament would become the official Opposition.

“In this situation is it important for all voters, particularly those in regional areas, to ask their candidates for positions on LGBTI law reform,” Greig said.

Greig said the WA National Party was not like its federal counterpart and not dominated by socially conservative and religious MPs.

“The WA Nationals have at times been good on LGBTI issues. For example, Mr Terry Waldron MP, the Member for Wagin who retired at the last election, supported the McGintry reforms in 2002 and made a positive contribution to that debate.

“More recently, Mia Davies flagged her personal support for a state Civil Union scheme for same-sex couples before marriage equality happened at a federal level, however, she did not present a Bill to progress this.

“It’s important not to stereotype MPs into ‘ideological positions’ and for everyone in our community to engage in discussion, education and lobbying on LGBTI issues with all sides of politics,” Greig said.

So far only the Greens WA and National Party WA have responded to the just.equal survey. No response has yet come forward from Labor or the Liberals.

OIP Staff

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