LGBTIQ+ Community

12 October 2021

LGBTIQ+ Community

(Question Without Notice, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)

Question to Premier: 

I congratulate the new Premier and the new Deputy Premier on their appointments. I thank the former Premier and Deputy Premier for their commitment to our State during a very difficult time. I direct my question to the Premier. Will the Premier work with me to ensure that the LGBTI+ community is supported by the Government and not discriminated against in New South Wales law?

Response: 

I thank the member for Sydney for his question. I recognise the work that he has conducted during this term of Government with the Executive. He has not just advocated for the LGBTI community but more importantly for the people of Sydney and his community, which has been hit incredibly hard during the pandemic. That is what every member in this Parliament should be doing and should continue to do as we go through this period.

With dignity and courtesy, as we saw from his question. We have to recognise the diverse needs of the people who elect us and make sure that everyone has a voice and is represented. When I became Premier I said that I would serve every single person across New South Wales. That is what I have always tried to do as a member of this Government; as Premier that is what I will continue to do. For many years the member for Sydney and I have had a strong, constructive working relationship. We do not always agree on every issue and we do not always agree on how to resolve every issue. I believe that our constructive relationship shows how progress can be made in a Parliament where we are all elected to represent a huge diversity of people. I assure the member for Sydney that I will continue to work with him constructively to ensure that the LGBTI members of our community do feel supported and do not face injustice in New South Wales.

I am a Liberal and a fundamental aspect of being a Liberal is understanding that governments should, as much as possible, stay out of people's lives. We believe that a strong society is not the product of a government or programs but a product of flourishing families, individuals, communities and businesses across our State. Human flourishing is possible only when the inherent dignity of everyone in our society is recognised and affirmed. That is central to what I stand for as a Liberal Premier. We do not believe in quantifying someone's worth based on their sexuality or any other attribute, be it the colour of their skin, their religion, their gender, their age or their politics. We believe in equality before the law and those beliefs will inform everything that our Government does when it comes to addressing the needs and concerns of every one of our citizens. I acknowledge that in our State's history, this has not always been the case. LGBTI members of our community have suffered grave injustices that were not acceptable in the past and they are not acceptable now. Where there is still work to be done to address these injustices, we will do it.

I also acknowledge that in any society a wide array of individuals and groups lay claim to competing rights and responsibilities. We must always work together in a spirit of diversity and inclusion to advance the rights for all. Let us also recognise that LGBTI citizens do not form some homogenous group in our society. They do not speak with just one voice and one mind. They span geographical, cultural, ideological and political divides. Within Government we are proud that our Cabinet is made up of talented and driven people from a range of diverse backgrounds, with different talents, drives and beliefs. We understand that for many LGBTI citizens in New South Wales, the fact of their sexuality is not what defines them. They are simply citizens of the great State of New South Wales, each contributing in their own unique way to build a better future for our State.

Across New South Wales members of the LGBTI community are members of our families, workplaces and communities. Like everyone they want great schools, great hospitals, great roads, great public transport and sound economic management, and we will continue to deliver on all of these. Above all, they want opportunity and a fair go: not special treatment but equal treatment. The Government I lead will continue to listen and understand where LGBTI members of the community continue to face injustice. We will continue to provide the necessary support to overcome those injustices and affirm the dignity of every single member of the LGBTI community. I hope that we will be able to do that as constructively as we have in the engagement we have had with the member for Sydney over the course of our time in Government. I continue to look forward to working with the member for Sydney on these issues as we move forward.

Let's work together to celebrate and protect our great city!

 

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