Thursday August 17th 2023
CALL FOR TRANSPARENT LGBTIQA+ GOVERNMENT APPOINTMENTS
Just.Equal Australia has called for transparency and accountability in the appointment of Federal Government LGBTIQA+ advisory committees.
It follows the unveiling of the new LGBTIQA+ Health Action Plan Expert Advisory Group
by the Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ged Kearney, without any community consultation or any transparent process.
Just.Equal also wants greater diversity in appointments. It says the new advisory group needs greater visibility of bisexual, asexual, aromantic and agender people and has overlooked rural, regional and remote representation.
Just.Equal spokesperson, Brian Greig, said,
"If the Federal Government wants the unvarnished truth on policy, rather than take the risk of people telling it what it wants to hear, it must involve LGBTIQA+ communities in the appointment of its advisory groups."
"Unfortunately, that wasn't the case with the Health Advisory Group, where there was no transparent process or community consultation before appointments were made."
"State LGBTIQA+ advisory groups usually call for expressions of interest and that's the least the Federal Government should have done, and must do in future."
Greig said while he welcomed a national LGBTIQA+ health advisory group, as the first official federal government group of its kind, it must set a higher standard for transparency and accountability.
Just.Equal advisor, Sally Goldner, said,
"We are disappointed with regard to bisexual, asexual, aromantic or agender representatives on the new advisory group, as well as a preponderance of inner-city representatives and no-one specifically representing rural, regional and remote LGBTIQA+ Australians."
"If the Government were to call for expressions of interest from under-represented LGBTIQA+ Australians it would be able to establish advisory panels that are more representative, more diverse in their views and ultimately more useful for government policy-making."
Just.Equal Australia has written to the Assistant Minister for Health, Ged Kearney, asking for a whole-of-government policy that will ensure LGBTIQA+ advisory groups are more representative and appointed through a more transparent expression-of-interest process.
The lobby group has also written to Andrew Leigh, minister responsible for the Census, asking for appointments to the proposed Expert Advisory Panel on LGBTIQA+ inclusion in the 2026 Census also to be made in a transparent fashion and involving expressions of interest.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has issued a statement of regret about its failure to include LGBTIQA+ people in previous Censuses and says it will establish an Expert Panel to consider the issue.
For the Government health advisory group announcement and a list of the existing members: https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-ged-kearney-mp/media/new-era-for-lgbtiqa-health-care