The National LGBTI Health Alliance (the Alliance) is outraged that politics over evidence has informed the decision to exclude LGBTI people from the 2021 Census.
This week the Census Regulations (the Regulations) have been lodged by Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar. Notably, they omit any new questions on sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.
“It appears that the decision to exclude our questions from these Regulations has been informed by the ideology and personal opinions of some individuals. This decision has negated the huge need for these questions to be included, a need that has been voiced by a significant number of politicians, health experts, academics and community organisations”, Nicky Bath said.
Their release immediately follows a Treasury consultation on the draft Regulations, a process the Alliance and many other sector partners participated in, calling for LGBTI inclusion. We look forward to the government approving for Treasury to publish the public submissions lodged to the consultation process onto their website, to make clear the wealth of evidence and support for these questions to be included.
Recently, the Alliance developed a Joint Statement calling for LGBTI inclusion in the 2021 Census. The Statement’s 140 supporters included a range of stakeholders with expertise spanning across mental health, suicide prevention, social services, disability, ageing and aged care, family violence, human rights, and research.
“The display of unity across sectors shows we have a national consensus for LGBTI people to be counted in 2021. It is deeply disappointing to see that this has been ignored with no clear reason for their exclusion.”
The ABS’s brief to government indicated clearly that these questions had “strong value across all levels of government”. The brief also acknowledged that the Department of Social Services and the Department of Health needs data to better inform service planning and delivery.
“The new questions on chronic health conditions and veteran questions, while welcome, are meaningless for our communities. Without this vital data collection, we will continue to invest public money in public programs without the understanding of community need and population level data. This means that it will be harder for us to minimise the significant health disparities that LGBTI people and communities experience. To go through this whole process again in 2026, with no guarantee of a positive outcome, is unacceptable”, Nicky Bath concluded.
Media Contact: Nicky Bath, Executive Director
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