Tasmanian Conversion Practices Ban Legislation

19 December 2023

The Tasmanian Government has opened public consultation on the proposed Justice Miscellaneous (Conversion Practices) Bill 2024.

The Bill makes amendments to the Police Offences Act 1935 and the Health Complaints Act 1995 to give effect to the Government’s commitment to ban sexual orientation and gender identity conversion practices in Tasmania.

As indicated in a joint media release from Christian school groups following the opening of consultation, the Tasmanian Government “must try harder” on the Bill.

Christian schools are particularly concerned about the inclusion of gender identity in the bill, especially when nobody can provide us with any clear indication or examples of what the problem is that the government is trying to solve.

The concerns regarding the inclusion of practices related to gender identity have been strengthened following the recent release by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists of updated guidance materials which recognises that there “are methodological limitations in studies which assess the effectiveness of all models of treatment on the mental health of children and adolescents with Gender Dysphoria” and indicates that “[p]sychiatric practice will be informed by further emerging evidence”.  

The guidance then goes on to say in relation to treatment of children and adolescents that “[t]he risk of intervention needs to be weighed against the risk of non-intervention, in consideration of the individual circumstances.”

Consultation is open on the Bill with acceptance of submissions closing at midnight on Friday, 16 February 2024.

CSA will be making a submission on behalf of member schools.  Schools and churches are encouraged to consider also making submissions, and we are very happy to review any draft submissions.

Submissions can be made through the Department of Justice website here.

 

 

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