Members of the LGBTQ community are invited to participate in a forum on 13 March with leading NSW politicians ahead of upcoming 2019 state election. The event – ‘Our Communities, Our Votes: LGBTQ NSW Election Forum’ – will be hosted by CEO of Equality Australia, Anna Brown.
Organised by a coalition of LGBTQ health and advocacy organisations comprising of the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (GLRL), the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP), Positive Life NSW and ACON, this forum being held at the NSW Teachers Federation Conference Centre is designed to provide members of our community with the opportunity to ask a panel of leading politicians questions about key issues affecting LGBTQ communities in NSW.
Politicians that will make up the panel include Alex Greenwich MP, Independent Member for Sydney; Jenny Leong MP, NSW Greens Member for Newtown; Penny Sharpe MLC, Deputy Leader of the NSW Labor Party; Trevor Khan MLC, National Party, President and Chair of Committee; and Don Harwin MLC, NSW Liberal Party.
GLRL Convenor James Bolster said: “The marriage survey showed us just how important it is to make our voices heard, especially among our elected politicians. Together our diverse communities have achieved a lot of great changes - with the help of some key allies and MPs - but we still have a way left to achieving full equality and better outcomes for health, education, justice and wellbeing. This is our chance to remind our politicians about how much there is still left to do. Gaps remain in the areas of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex recognition, as well as religious exemptions.”
ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said: “Consecutive years of reduced HIV notifications in NSW are the clearest indication that our collective efforts in working in partnership with government, clinicians and researchers are taking us closer to meeting our goal of virtually ending new HIV transmissions in NSW. We need to maintain our evidence-based policy approaches, commitment and investment in NSW.
“Despite the fact that NSW has the largest LGBTQ population in Australia, our communities are often ignored in government decision-making processes and data collection. There is an opportunity in NSW for greater leadership and a whole-of-government investment in policies and programs to develop adequate responses addressing the determinants of our communities’ health and wellbeing. To address a lack, in some cases total absence, of appropriate services for people of diverse sexualities and gender identities in NSW, and given the health gaps experience by our communities, we are looking to the next term of government to established a Pride Health Centre, which would be based in the inner west of Sydney, providing services state-wide via telehealth.”
CEO of Positive Life NSW, Craig Cooper said: “While progress is being made in HIV prevention, commitments must be made by political parties to ensure people living with HIV are not left behind, including people living with HIV who are not eligible for Medicare. It is critical our efforts in HIV prevention ensures that no barriers remain for people living with HIV to access effective treatment.”
SWOP CEO Cameron Cox said: “Decriminalisation has allowed NSW sex workers to attain and maintain high levels of occupational health and safety, however sex workers need assurance that no policies will be introduced that will reverse the decriminalisation of their work. Support from government and law enforcement to deal with stigma, discrimination and any violence needs to be a key consideration as well, to allow sex workers to enjoy the same rights that are enjoyed by other residents of NSW.”
Our Communities, Our Votes: LGBTQ NSW Election Forum
DATE: Wednesday 13 March
VENUE: NSW Teacher’s Federation Conference Centre, 37 Reservoir Street, Surry Hills
BOOKINGS: Places are limited. Bookings essential
The forum will be livestreamed on ACON’s Facebook page. Light refreshments will be available for attendees.
For more information please contact: David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications
E: [email protected] T: +61 (02) 9206 2044 M: +61 (0)428 477 042