Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Article

Children’s Commissioner’s advice to Legislative Council exposes lack of consultation on transgender reforms

Leanne McLean is Tasmania's new children's commissioner. Supplied

The Tasmanian Commissioner for Children and Young People, Leanne McLean, in a recent email to the Legislative Council on changes to the Justice and Related Legislation (Marriage Amendments) Bill 2018, stated she has not been ‘briefed or asked to comment on the Government Bill or the Bill as amended’.

Leanne McLean’s letter to the Legislative Council is an example of how little consultation Labor and the Greens have done on their proposed transgender law reforms in Tasmania.

The Children’s Commissioner’s office has a vital role in‘researching, investigating and influencing policy development in matters relating to children and young people generally’.

In performing her duties under the Act, the Commissioner is required to do so‘according to the principle that the wellbeing and best interests of children and young people are paramount’.

In the Commissioner’s email she raises questions‘about the practical operability of the bill and the subsequent impacts on children and young people’.

Importantly, the Commissioner is concerned about the removal of consideration of the ‘best interests of the child’.  She says –

‘Furthermore we must maintain a focus on the fundamental right of children and young people to have their best interests assessed and taken into account as a primary consideration in all actions and decisions that concern them….’

The Commissioner also recommends the bill includes –

‘a requirement that a child or young person undergo appropriate counselling as a precondition to an application to remove or change sex or gender information collected under the BDMR Act….’

It is very clear that all stake holders have not been consulted by Labor and the Greens in their rush to fast track transgender law reforms through the Lower House last year.

The Legislative Council must refer this issue to the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute for a full and thorough inquiry that will enable the Tasmanian community and all stakeholders to have input.

The Commissioner’s letter is available online at https://www.childcomm.tas.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/Submissions-2018-11-29-Comment-Justice-and-Related-Legislation-Marriage-Amendments-Bill-2018-.pdf

Isla MacGregor is a women’s human rights and free speech advocate

Bronwyn Williams is a retired lawyer and social worker

Women Speak Tasmania is a network of women and their supporters based in Tasmania. We operate as a secular group. We are not aligned with any political party or ideology. We share research and information on a broad range of women’s rights issues. These include – female only spaces, services, groups and facilities; the sexualisation of girls and women; pornography/prostitution and the harms of the global sex trade; surrogacy as a violation of women’s human rights; and ending male violence against girls and women. We understand that sex-based oppression affects all women, and underlies all abuses of female rights. We support the right of women to speak freely about the inequities and discrimination they experience. We aim to give a voice to girls and women in the pursuit of justice, peace and security. We support full autonomy and personal freedom for all women.

Children’s Commissioner’s advice to Legislative Council exposes lack of consultation on transgender reforms …

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Isla MacGregor

    February 14, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    Yet again only journalist Matthew Denholm with The Australian covering the Children’s Commissioner expose:

    ‘Protect kids from gender reform’

    11:44AM FEBRUARY 14, 2019

    Tasmania’s children’s commissioner has intervened in the debate over sweeping transgender law reform, warning of the need for safeguards before children can change their official sex or gender.

    Leanne McLean has written to members of the state’s upper house, expressing concern about aspects of the controversial reforms that make it easier for people, including children, to have their official sex or gender changed.

    While backing an end to the requirement for people to undergo sex realignment surgery before they can change their official gender, Ms McLean warned more safeguards were needed to protect children.

    “In my opinion, consideration should be given to including a requirement in the bill that a child or young person undergo appropriate counselling as a precondition to an application to remove or change sex or gender,” she wrote to Legislative Councillors.

    “Evidence of this could be required through an additional statutory declaration by an appropriately trained person. This in turn would help inform decision makers as to the will and preferences of a child or young person. “

    In her letter to MLCs ahead of their vote on the reforms next month, Ms McLean also expressed concern that the changes remove the need for the “best interests” of the child to be considered before a child’s official sex or gender is changed.

    “We must maintain a focus on the fundamental right of children and young people to have their best interests assessed and taken into account as a primary consideration in all actions and decisions that concern them,” she said.

    “I am therefore concerned that the bill removes consideration of ‘best interests’ in applications to change a child’s name.”

    Ms McLean’s letter, written in November and leaked today after being obtained by critics of the reforms, also appears to chastise political parties for failing to consult her in drawing up the legislation.

    “Despite the relevance of this bill to children and young people in Tasmania, I note that neither I, nor former interim commissioner … have been briefed or asked to comment,” she said.

    The reforms allow people aged 16 or older to change their official sex or gender simply via statutory declaration.

    Parents of children under 16 can apply for a change on their behalf. Where only one parent makes this request, a magistrate may approve it, based on the child’s wishes.

    The changes also remove sex from birth certificates unless specifically requested. They were added by the Greens and Labor to a largely procedural government bill last year and passed the lower house with the casting vote of independent-minded Liberal speaker, Sue Hickey.

    The state Liberal government opposes the changes, currently before the independent-dominated upper house.

    An opponent of the legislation, women’s rights group Women Speak Tasmania, said the commissioner’s concerns were further evidence that the legislation was rushed by opposition parties in their haste to pull-off a parliamentary coup.

    “It is very clear that all stakeholders have not been consulted by Labor and the Greens in their rush to fast track transgender law reforms,” said group spokeswoman Isla MacGregor.

    “The Legislative Council must refer this issue to the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute for a full and thorough inquiry that will enable the Tasmanian community and all stakeholders to have input.”

    Labor and the Greens are yet to respond.

    theaustralian.com.au

  2. Lola Moth

    February 14, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    The first thing that needs to happen with this proposed legislation is to clarify the terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’. You can’t interchange these two words as they mean totally different things.

    Every law needs to be precise in its language so that there is no misinterpretation. Any debate on this proposed legislation must be done with these words being consistent in their meaning. Any discussion without such clarification is meaningless.

    • mctessa

      February 15, 2019 at 9:49 am

      Indeed. But transgenderism requires the confusion of terms in order to be palatable. Good meaning people just go along with it because it makes no sense, but they want to be ‘nice’. When there is clarity, transgenderism is rejected for the sexist nonsense it is.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      mctessa ..

      Please study the use of capitalisation. Every sentence must start with a capital letter.

      Lazy writing is not welcome here.

      — Moderator

      • mctessa

        February 15, 2019 at 7:54 pm

        I can comment with better sentence structure in future but, I do question why you would want to make less-than-perfect command of the English language unwelcome. Such elitist practices dont encourage a diversity of views from the widest variety of participants, but it’s your platform, so whatever.

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        Your house – your rules.

        Our house – our rules.

        https://tasmaniantimes.com/the-legal-bits/

        — Moderator

        • Christopher Eastman-Nagle

          February 15, 2019 at 10:50 pm

          Mctessa, contrary to popular belief, correct use of grammar is not ‘elitist’. It just means that you have been taught how to read and write properly in primary school by teachers armed with high expectations and who knew what they are doing, inside a coherent curriculum and a classroom with some rules that were respected and obeyed most of the time.

  3. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    February 14, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    Isla, it isn’t just ideological somnambulism that you are up against, but something orders of magnitude more difficult.

    The use of terminology like ‘transphobic exclusionist discrimination’ not only denies those who do not agree the right to a legitimate and principled position because by definition they are overwhelmed by irrational fears rather than reason, but also, by definition, the politics of ‘inclusion’ do not come with any qualification or standards, and ‘discrimination’ has been stripped of its rational critical faculties, which are now, by definition ‘prejudicial’ and ‘bigoted’.

    So, when you and Bronwyn turn up at the office of a enlightened humanist regime apparatchik, what she automatically ‘sees’ when you walk in is a pair of ideological inclusion denying troglodytes who at best need psychiatric help to deal with their irrationally prejudicial and bigoted beliefs. And that is before you have said a word.

    The world of colonized propaganda where the propagandists have been taken over by their own relentlessly repeated truisms has to be seamless, because any rent in its continuum, no matter how small, threatens the entire seam.

    ‘Inclusion’ can’t have any qualification and standards, because to admit them, even for such ordinarily respectable (in the ideological sense) feminists like yourselves, means that riff raff (in that same sense) like me eventually get the same ‘look in’. That means ‘genuine troggoes’ can legitimately revisit old conflict sites, where it is assumed that ‘the verdict of history’ is now supposed to be ‘in, done and dusted’; to wit, the same sex marriage campaign to which the transgender one is but a successor.

    Your presence in this debate is very awkward all round, because the work you are doing is to some extent at least, unwittingly revealing what a pile of crock the architecture of social humanist discourse has become, and why worldwide, its legitimacy is coming into question.

    And even more discomforting, this whole transgen imbroglio may also be revealing the extent to which feminism may need to reposition itself outside the deregulatory frameworks that have described ‘progress’, ‘freedom’ and ‘rights’ since the collapse of socialism. Feminism is all about rebuilding the gender templates inside the reproductive centre of our species in ways that will fundamentally reregulate the way the means of domestic reproduction work…and a way that that a lot of the rest of the economy works as well.

    Feminist politics is overwhelmingly about the politics of the reproductive centre, which inevitably is going to mean that everything else is marginal minoritarianism. And right now, even the remotest possibility of such a suggestion would be a bit like disturbing a hornets’ nest, because everyone is now so invested in the margins.

    The whole system of discourse has so lost its existential centre that such a suggestion would be a mortal threat to the status quo and the ideological ‘Establishment’; i.e., the Humanist Ascendancy.

    And that dear Isla and Bronwyn is a landmine that you may have already walked on…

    • Simon Warriner

      February 17, 2019 at 9:44 am

      Sometimes it helps to widen the focus and put the micro into its wider, macro perspective.

      This is but a single mine in a very large system of mine fields.

      The bigger issue is .. who laid those minefields, and for what purpose?

  4. Russell

    February 14, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    No-one has been consulted, especially not the public.

    Rebecca White gutlessly backs down on gambling while still pursuing the bullshit transgender cause with Cassy O’Connor.

    Where is their grey matter?

    • Simon Warriner

      February 15, 2019 at 10:45 am

      Party politicians. Selected for a lack of it.

  5. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    February 14, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    I think Isla, the problem you are up against is that everyone has assumed that the transgender agenda is just a follow-on tidy-up left over from the plebiscite last year.

    This would explain the complete lack of responsiveness to your submissions.

    But this explanation is not a very flattering one because it clearly demonstrates how colonised the social libertarian ascendancy has become by its own ideological groupthink and the extent to which it has abandoned disintetested critical objectivity in favour of ‘the party line’.

    In the the more general sense, this is emblematic of how colonised the entire architecture of discourse has become by the language of propaganda, which these days is ‘publicrelationsmarketspeak’.

    This is why all your ‘official’ interlocutors (which include most of the dominant media) are behaving like somnambulists, and ‘waking them up’ is proving to be as tricky as it is difficult.

    They really don’t like it .. having their ideological sleep so rudely interrupted …

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