The Victorian Government’s Taskforce for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Victorians' LGBTI Justice Working Group 2015-17 held its fourth meeting on 18 April 2016.
The Working Group was joined by the Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality, Rowena Allen, as well as Brenda Appleton and Jamie Gardiner from the Taskforce.
Specific topics considered
The Justice Working Group considered and discussed a range of issues relevant to LGBTI communities, arising from the Access to Justice Inquiry established by the Victorian Government. The Project Manager for the Inquiry attended the meeting, to hear the views of Working Group members on how access to justice can be improved for LGBTI communities. Some issues for consideration identified by the Working Group were:
- the lack of a specialist LGBTI Community Legal Centre;
- the need for more legal information and resources to be available for LGBTI communities and better coordination of such information and resources, for instance by having a centralised referral scheme; and
- the need to provide training for services in rural and regional Victoria so that LGBTI communities have confidence in the services provided and so will seek assistance from these services.
The Justice Working Group also noted and discussed relevant recommendations of the recent Royal Commission into Family Violence Report. Four of the recommendations directly relate to LGBTI communities.
The Justice Working Group received an update on the progress of the expungement scheme for historical homosexual sex convictions and the forthcoming State Apology on 24 May 2016.
The Justice Working Group will reconvene for its next meeting on 30 May 2016.