Media Release

Thursday May 11th 2023

Equality Tasmania has called on the State Government to commit to a timetable for introducing a ban on conversion practices. 

The call comes as the Premier Jeremy Rockliff recommitted to the reform in Parliament but did not provide a timeframe.  

Equality Tasmania President, Rodney Croome, said, 

“May 17th will mark a year since the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute (TLRI) issued its landmark report recommending a ban on conversion practices, and we still haven’t seen any draft legislation.” 

“While the Government delays, harmful and futile conversion practices continue to be inflicted on LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians.” 

Mr Croome said that when the TLRI recommended a conversion ban for Tasmania, such bans existed in Victoria, Queensland and the ACT, but in the last twelve months additional commitments to conversion bans have been given by the NSW, West Australian and South Australian governments. 

“Tasmania is at real risk of being the last state to ban conversion practices, damaging our reputation for LGBTIQA+ inclusion and making us a potential haven for conversion practitioners thrown out of the other states.”  

“We will seek an urgent meeting with the Premier and Attorney-General to outline the harm continued delays will cause.” 

Mr Croome went on to say he is concerned by the Premier’s statement that he and the Attorney-General are working on policy issues in relation to conversion legislation. 

“The TLRI’s recommendations were very detailed and clear, other states provide useful precedents and the issue itself is straightforward, so I don’t understand why further policy discussion is needed.” 

“The Premier committed to implementing the TLRI’s recommendations and that is what we call on him to do asap.” 

On June 5th 2022, Premier Jeremy Rockliff committed to introducing a ban on conversion practices based on the TLRI’s recommendations. He has confirmed that commitment twice since. 

A study of LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians, commissioned by the State Government, conducted by the University of Tasmania and released in May last year, found that 5% of LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians have been through formal conversion practices. 

A national study by La Trobe University released earlier in 2022 found that conversion survivors are 3 to 4 times more likely than other LGBTIQA+ people to experience post traumatic stress disorder and to have attempted suicide. 

Mr Rockliff was responding to a question from Independent Member for Clark, Kristie Johnston, in Parliament this morning. 

For a copy of this statement on the web, click here

For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.