Senate urges govt to redirect $20m postal survey savings to mental health

Following the success of Senator Dean Smith’s marriage bill in the upper house today, the Senate has also passed a motion calling for money not spent on the postal survey to be redirected to mental health services.

The motion put forward by the Australian Greens urges the government to move the $20 million allocated for, but not spent in, the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, to be used to fund mental health support services for LGBTI+ people.

“The marriage equality survey came in $20 million under budget, meanwhile mental health services were put under immense pressure due to the scrutiny inflected on the LGBTIQ community, having a significant impact on their mental health,” Greens Mental Health spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“Considering it was the Turnbull Government who inflicted this survey on the LGBTIQ community, redirecting the money from the postal survey towards mental health services would be the right and compassionate thing to do.”

Greens LGBTIQ spokesperson Senator Janet Rice added that there is clear evidence that the postal survey had a negative impact on the mental health of many LGBTIQ Australians.

“Services such as Reachout saw a 40% increase and Switchboard saw a 35% increase in people accessing their services during the period of the survey,” Senator Rice said.

“Lives were put at risk by this national survey.”

“The Turnbull Government must do the right thing and put resources into the mental health sector so they can address the fallout before more lives are put at risk.”

The Prime Minister and the rest of the House of Representatives are set to return to Canberra next Monday.

OIP Staff

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