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Thursday, 15 November 2018
Page: 8222


Senator STEELE-JOHN (Western Australia) (09:33): When you go to the doctor, when you engage with a healthcare professional, and you are a young person, you have a right to privacy. You have a right to know that the things you discuss of a highly personal nature will be kept between the two of you. This trust that exists between patient and practitioner enables many private, sensitive issues to be discussed. The legislation as drafted wholly failed to protect young people in this regard and to enshrine our right to privacy. It would have enabled health records to be shared automatically with parents or guardians, placing young people at significant risk of information, such as that relating to the disclosure of abuse and to the requirement to access sexual health services, mental health services and reproductive health services, being shared. It would have put all of that at risk and enabled it to be shared with a parent or guardian. It was a travesty, and the youth sector rightly came together and demanded that something be done.

I support this amendment wholeheartedly. I am proud to be a member of the movement that has brought it into being here today. We must always ensure that the right of young people to privacy is protected; that, when our information is accessed, our active consent is first sought so that trust can be maintained; and that rights are preserved. Thank you very much.

The CHAIR: The question is that the amendment as amended by Senator Di Natale, (1) on sheet 8565, be agreed to.

Question agreed to.