Tuesday, 15 June 2021
I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 1114 in the terms circulated in the chamber, before asking that it be taken as a formal motion.
I move the motion as amended:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
i. 100 years of diagnostic history of childhood gender dysphoria (GD) there is an alarming trend that teenage girls, with no history of GD, have become the largest group seeking treatment,
ii. in the United States of America, girls requesting gender reassignment surgery in 2016-17 rose 400%,
iii. in the United Kingdom, girls presenting with GD in the last 10 years rose 4000%, and
individual. Australia's Royal Children's Hospital indicates referrals have grown from 1 every two years to 104 patients in 2014;
(b) further notes that:
i. Sweden's leading gender clinic has ended treatment of minors with hormonal drugs due to safety concerns, citing cancer and infertility, and
ii. suicide mortality rate for transgendered people is 20 times higher than comparable peers;
(c) supports children presenting with GD to be given:
i. the 'wait and see' method as the first choice, since evidence shows between 70-90% of young people's dysphoria resolves itself by puberty, and
ii. a comprehensive therapeutic pathway since a large percentage of these children have pre-existing mental health issues, and not a medical pathway; and
(d) condemns the practice of children receiving:
i. experimental and unproven medical treatments of irreversible puberty blockers and sex hormone treatments, and
ii. irreversible transgender surgery.
by leave—The government is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of young Australians. We acknowledge that the clinical treatment of children experiencing gender dysphoria is a complex and evolving area, and that more research is needed.
In Australia, state and territory health departments are the system managers of their public hospital and health services, and have primary administrative and clinical responsibility and control of the relevant services. It's important that the states and territories work to develop a nationally consistent, evidence based approach to best-practice treatment and clinical care, with appropriate safeguards. We encourage them to immediately prioritise this critical work.
Also, this motion touches on complex issues that could be a matter of conscience, and therefore coalition senators will be voting in accordance with their consciences.
Newsflash: transgender and non-binary people exist, they are valid and they deserve our love and support, and, for some of them, medical support to affirm their gender is life-saving. This motion is harmful. It is full of misrepresentation, misinformation and fearmongering, and it has no place in our parliament. It is a complete misrepresentation of the support being offered to young people in Australia in affirming their gender identity, such as the world-class services being provided at the gender clinic at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne.
The Greens reject this motion absolutely, and state our support for all trans and gender-diverse people. You are valid; we see you and we support you.