The Anthony Albanese government has assured that LGBTQI issues will be on the agenda at next week’s Jobs and Skills Summit.
The jobs and skills summit was an election promise made by Labor and aims to “bring together Australians, including unions, employers, civil society, and government, to discuss our shared economic challenges and propose both immediate and long-term solutions.” The summit is scheduled to be held at Parliament House, Canberra on September 1 and 2, 2022.
Out gay Brisbane MP Stephen Bates and advocacy group Just.Equal had expressed concerns after finding that LGBTQI people had been left out of the list of groups that face discrimination in the work place in the Jobs and Skills Summit Issues Paper.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers told OutinPerth that the Albanese government recognised the “unique challenges” faced by LGBTQI people when it came to securing employment and hoped to address such issues at the summit.
‘Pressure From Community Groups Got Results’
Greens MP Bates said that the government’s statement was a “a great win” for the community and it proved that strong people power and advocacy from community groups yielded results.
“The Sex Discrimination Act still contains religious exemptions which allow teachers to be fired from their workplace because of their sexuality or gender identity,” the MP had said in a post on social media.
“The Fair Work Act still doesn’t explicitly protect against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sex characteristics – preventing trans, intersex and gender diverse people from being afforded the same protections as cisgendered people. We cannot hope to address a skills shortage and economic inequality while entire communities do not feel safe in the workplace. LGBTQIA+ people must be a part of the conversation,” said the MP.
LGBTQI People Face High Levels Of Discrimination
Just.Equal Australia spokesperson, Rodney Croome had said that it was “disappointing” to see that the Government had “overlooked the fact that LGBTIQA+ people face higher levels of employment and workplace discrimination and harassment than other Australians.”
The organisation welcomed the government’s commitment to consider LGBTQI employment issues in the summit. “Now, the job is ensuring the Summit properly considers our issues,” Just.Equal posted on social media.
MP Bates echoed the sentiments. “Our job now is to make sure we keep fighting, and achieve tangible results from this Summit, to reduce discrimination against our community,” the MP added.
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