Equality Tasmania

LGBTIQA+ Community State Election Survey 2024


Equality Tasmania has surveyed parties and candidates on issues of concern to the LGBTIQA+ community during each state election since 1989. We ask for your responses to the following questions to better inform the LGBTIQA+ community and our families and allies about their voting options.

The relatively large number of questions in this survey is because we have sought views on services as well as law reform, and because of the ongoing threats to landmark reforms already achieved.



a.   Conversion practices


Conversion practices are attempts to change, suppress or eradicate someone’s same-sex attraction or gender identity based on the false, misleading and pseudoscientific claims that people who are same-sex attracted or have a transgender identity are broken and can be fixed. Some Tasmanian religious leaders have admitted they continue to conduct conversion.

According to research commissioned by the current Tasmanian Government, 1 in 5 LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians have been through formal conversion practices. La Trobe University research shows conversion survivors are 3 to 4 times more likely other LGBTIQA+ people to have PTSD and to have attempted suicide.

A 2022 report from the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute recommended that conversion practices be prohibited. It also recommended religious practice, parental guidance and medical practices not be restricted unless they promote or perpetrate conversion practices.

In December 2023 the Tasmanian Government released a bill that will allow most conversion practices to continue. This is because it says conversion practices are not conversion practices if there is consent (it is not possible to consent to treatment based on false and misleading claims) and if self-defining health service providers consider it appropriate (conversion perpetrators often falsely call themselves “therapists” or “counsellors”). The bill also has weak enforcement provisions and no provision for education of communities where conversion may occur.

TLRI MR here: https://www.utas.edu.au/about/news-and-stories/articles/2022/tlri-recommends-reform-of-laws-covering-lgbtqa-conversion-practices

TLRI report here: https://www.utas.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/1585921/2022.CP.Report32.final.A4_securedwcopy.pdf

Conversion practices in Tasmania here: https://equalitytasmania.org.au/home/endconversion/

Evidence of ongoing conversion practices here: https://www.examiner.com.au/story/7406885/launceston-church-makes-no-apologies-for-using-conversion-therapy/


Do you want to see an end to conversion practices in Tasmania?

Will you enact or vote for a prohibition on conversion practices based on the recommendations of the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute?

Do you believe this should be high priority?

b.   Intersex surgeries


About 1.7% of the Tasmanian population are people with innate variations of sex characteristics (intersex). Currently in Tasmania medically unnecessary cosmetic surgeries and other unnecessary medical interventions are being inflicted on intersex infants and children to “normalise” them. These surgeries often need to be corrected as the child grows and can cause great psychological and physical harm later in life. A prohibition on these surgeries has been recommended by a 2020 TLRI report (Legal Recognition of Sex and Gender) and enacted in the ACT. Victoria will follow by the end of 2024.

TLRI MR here: https://www.utas.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/1342078/Legal-Recognition-of-Sex-and-Gender-Media-Release-Final-Report.pdf

TLRI report here: https://www.utas.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/1342078/Legal-Recognition-of-Sex-and-Gender-Media-Release-Final-Report.pdf


Will you enact or vote for a prohibition on medically-unnecessary interventions on children with innate variations of sex characteristics based on the recommendations of the TLRI?

Do you believe this should be a high priority?

Will you support the provision of redress for those who have undergone damaging, medically-unnecessary and non-consensual medical interventions?

c.    Hate crime


Tasmanian sentencing law allows for a sentence to be aggravated (increased) if racial hatred was a motive for the crime. However, hate on the basis of other attributes including sexual orientation, gender identity and variations of sex characteristics cannot be an aggravating factor in sentencing. This sends the message that hate-motivated attacks against LGBTIQA+ people are less serious than those against members of racial minorities.

The current Government asked the Sentencing Board to conduct an inquiry into this issue. But that report was not released before the election was called.

Sentencing board inquiry here: https://www.sentencingcouncil.tas.gov.au/projects


Will you enact or vote for reform of the Sentencing Act that allows for aggravated sentencing when a crime is motivated by hatred on the basis of a range of attributes including sexual orientation, gender identity and variations of sex characteristics.

Will you support more resources to enable police to be trained to identify, collect data on, and prosecute crime motivated by hate?

d.   Stalking law reform


In Tasmania there is a continuing problem of same-sex couples, and LGBTIQA+ people more broadly, facing harassment, bullying and stalking by neighbours, particularly in rural areas. However, police cannot gather evidence or bring charges under relevant legislation (section 192 of the Criminal Code) until they have consent from the Director of Public Prosecutions making it very hard to enforce the law. NSW has removed this onerous provision.


Will you support changes to section 192 of the Criminal Code to ensure victims of those crimes can be sure police are empowered to gather evidence and bring charges without having to seek prior consent of the DPP?

e.   Expungement of historical criminal records


In 2016 the Hodgman Liberal government passed a law allowing criminal records of those convicted under Tasmania’s former laws against homosexuality and cross-dressing to be expunged (erased).

A subsequent independent review of the operation of the law, commissioned by the Government, recommended a series of reforms in areas like administrative procedures and promotion of the scheme. It also recommended financial redress for those whose application for expungement is successful.


Will you enact or vote for the review’s recommendations to be implemented?

If you indicated support for the recommendations, does this include in-principle support for financial redress for survivors, of an amount to be determined by a parliamentary inquiry?

f.     An LGBTIQA+ Inclusion Act


The current Tasmanian Government has proposed a Disability Inclusion Bill that will entrench the rights of people with disability, entrench the relationship between people with disability and the Government, establish a Disability Commissioner and legislate for goals related to respect, equality and inclusion.

More about the Disability Inclusion Bill here: https://www.dpac.tas.gov.au/divisions/cpp/community-and-disability-services/disability-inclusion-bill-have-your-say


Do you support an LGBTIQA+ Inclusion Act similar to the proposed Disability Inclusion Bill?

If unsure, do you support an inquiry into the need for an LGBTIQA+ Inclusion Act?

g.   A Human Rights Act


A Tasmanian Human Rights Act was proposed by the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute in 2007. Such an Act will ensure the human rights of all Tasmanians, including sexual and gender minorities, are respected.

TLRI MR here: https://www.utas.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/283730/Human_rightsfinalversion_media.pdf

TLRI report here:



Will you enact or vote for a Tasmanian Human Rights Act in line with the recommendations of the TLRI?


a.   The Anti-Discrimination Act


The Anti-Discrimination Act has been in place for quarter of a century. In that time it has helped foster a fairer and more inclusive Tasmania.

For the last 25 years the Act has prohibited discrimination by faith-based schools and services against LGBTIQA+ students, staff and clients. National research has shown this has fostered more inclusive faith-based schools and services. Other states are now adopting similar protections.

Attempts have been made in the Tasmanian Parliament to roll back these protections, mostly unsuccessfully. In 2022 the Federal Government attempted to take away these protections as part of its Religious Discrimination Bill. But that bill failed in the House of Representatives.

Section 17 of the Act has helped curb bullying against people with disability, racial minorities, women and LGBTIQA+ people by prohibiting humiliating, intimidating, insulting and offensive behaviour. By far, the majority of complaints under this provision are from people with disability. Weakening this section will take their rights and protections away.

In 2016 the State Government attempted to weaken the protections provided by section 17 by allowing humiliation and intimidation etc in the name of religion. That failed in the Legislative Council. In 2022 the Federal Government attempted to do exactly the same as part of its Religious Discrimination Bill but, as mentioned, that also failed.


Will you vote against any attempt to remove existing protections for students, staff and clients of faith-based schools and services?

Will you vote against any attempt to weaken or otherwise amend section 17 of the Anti-Discrimination Act, including any attempt to allow intimidation and humiliation etc in the name of religion?

b.   Gender recognition laws


Since 2019, Tasmanian law allows trans and gender diverse people to amend their birth certificates to reflect their gender identity without the need for expensive and invasive surgeries. It has also allowed adults the choice to remove gender from their birth certificate, and parents the choice to omit gender from their child’s birth certificate (details of sex are still kept by the authorities). Hundreds of Tasmanians have taken this option.

This reform was recommended by Equal Opportunity Tasmania following public consultation. The reform was confirmed by the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute following further consultation.

There were predictions these reforms would put women’s safety as risk. However, there have been no examples of this in Tasmania. The reform has been endorsed by Tasmanian women’s groups including Women’s Health Tasmania, the Women’s Legal Service and women’s refuges.

TLRI MR here: https://www.utas.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/1342078/Legal-Recognition-of-Sex-and-Gender-Media-Release-Final-Report.pdf

TLRI report here: https://www.utas.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/1342078/Legal-Recognition-of-Sex-and-Gender-Media-Release-Final-Report.pdf


Will you vote against any attempt to weaken or otherwise amend Tasmania’s gender identity recognition laws?

c.    Respecting parental rights and opposing censorship


There are moves in America and Australia to ban age-appropriate LGBTIQA+ books in schools and public libraries. There is also an attempt to whip up a moral panic about drag story time.

Tasmanian parents should have the right, freedom and choice to allow their children to access age-appropriate materials that will prepare their child for a world that includes LGBTIQA+ people. Drag Story Time at the Launceston library in February 2022 illustrated how valuable parents believe these rights and freedoms to be with many taking their children to the event.

Furthermore, young people who are LGBTIQA+, and the children of same-sex couples, deserve to see themselves and their families represented alongside with other young people and families. This has a proven positive impact on their mental health and sense of belonging.


Will you respect parental choice and freedom, and oppose censorship, by allowing schools and libraries to include age-appropriate LGBTIQA+ books in their collections?

Will you respect parental choice and freedom, and oppose censorship, by not speaking out against age-appropriate drag story time?


a.   Government LGBTIQA+ Framework and Action Plan


After commissioning and releasing Tasmania’s largest ever LGBTIQA+ community survey, Telling Us the Story, the current State Government has been developing a new LGBTIQA+ Action Plan and Framework.

For a copy of Telling Us the Story:



Do you give in-principle support to the development and implementation of an Action Plan and Framework with appropriate funding based on the Telling Us the Story report?

b.   Mental health


Research shows LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians have some of the highest rates of psychological distress of any population group in Australia. The State Government’s Rethink mental health strategy includes LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians as one of three priority groups. The State Government has funded a project to scope and design a dedicated Tasmanian LGBTIQA+ mental health service.

Rethink and LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians (p12): https://www.health.tas.gov.au/sites/default/files/2022-10/Rethink%202020%20-%20FY23%20Implementation%20Plan%20-%20Accessible_0.pdf

LGBTIQA+ mental health scoping project (scroll down): https://www.premier.tas.gov.au/site_resources_2015/additional_releases/delivering-better-mental-health-services-through-the-rethink-2022-23-implementation-plan


Do you support a dedicated Tasmanian LGBTIQA+ mental health service?

c.    Service delivery and policy-making


Working It Out receives funding from the State Government to provide support for LGBTIQA+ people and their families and to conduct education and training.


Do you commit to maintaining funding that will enable statewide service delivery by Working It Out?


Working It Out and Equality Tasmania have received funding for one year to advise the State Government on policy development.


Do you support a continuation of this funding?

d.   Community fund


The State Government has an LGBTIQA+ community fund from which it disburses funds for important community projects.


Do you support this fund?

e.   Housing and substance abuse strategies


The statewide Tasmania Project survey has shown that LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians have higher rates of housing risk than other Tasmanians. Research also shows higher rates of substance-harm. Both are due to the experience of stigma, exclusion and discrimination.


Will you support LGBTIQA+ people being a priority group in Tasmania’s housing and substance-harm strategies?

f.     Trans and gender diverse health care


A recent study commissioned by Equality Tasmania found trans and gender diverse people face long wait times, poor communications from health care providers and other barriers to affirming health care, which force them to seek care interstate.


Do you support increased funding for the Sexual Health Service to meet demand and reduce wait times, as well as ongoing professional development for healthcare providers working with the trans and gender diverse community?


There have been some calls for an inquiry into gender affirming health care for young trans and gender diverse people. There are strict medical guidelines for such care in Australia, which are consistently under review. Peer-reviewed research shows young trans and gender diverse people benefit from affirming care. Many trans and gender diverse people fear an inquiry into such care will become a platform for hatred and misinformation.


Will you oppose an inquiry into health care for young trans and gender diverse people?

g.   Clinic


Local and national research shows LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians face difficulties accessing health services due to discrimination and lack of awareness of our health needs from health care providers.


Do you support a dedicated, multidisciplinary, LGBTIQA+ healthcare centre?

If not, do you support a needs analysis to determine if such a service is required?

h.   Legal Service


Many LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians are not aware of their legal rights. This is because of a recent legacy of not being treated equally by the law and because the Tasmanian Government has not promoted relevant law reforms.


Do you support a dedicated LGBTIQA+ legal service?

If not, do you support a needs analysis to determine if such a service is required?

4.            Government, parliament and the LGBTIQA+ community

a.   Professional development for government employees


Professional development about discrimination and cultural awareness has improved government services to LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians. However, lack of funding has meant only a minority of service-providers have received this professional development.


Do you support funding to ensure all school staff, health staff, police and emergency services staff, prison staff and Service Tasmania staff have professional development in the issues facing LGBTIQA+ Tasmanians?

b.   Consultation and representation


Tasmania has a proud record of Government liaison with the LGBTIQA+ community but there are still gaps. This has resulted in Tasmania leading the nation in many areas of LGBTIQA+ policy development.


Do you support the continuation of the existing government / LGBTIQA+ reference groups in the departments of education, health, police and emergency services, justice and across the whole of government (some of which have been in place for a quarter of a century)?

Do you support the appointment of an equality minister in the State Government?

Do you support the appointment of an LGBTIQA+ Commissioner (see LGBTIQA+ Inclusion Act above)?

Do you support the establishment of a Parliamentary LGBTIQA+ Friendship Group?

Do you support a Tasmanian LGBTIQA+ Staff Pride Network across the public sector (there are already agency specific networks in Police and Emergency Services, State Growth and Health?