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Thursday, 29 October 2009
Page: 7575

Senator LUDWIG (Special Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary) (10:02 AM) —Mr President, I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT —Leave is granted for two minutes.

Senator LUDWIG —The government’s view is that complex matters of international relations should not be considered in the Senate by means of formal motions. It is counterproductive for motions of this kind to single out one country—in this case, Uganda. This said, the government fully supports the elimination of discrimination against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity and we have said so publicly. As recently as last month, in September 2009, the Australian ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva noted the importance of eliminating discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Australia will continue to advocate in support of human rights of all individuals in a manner that we judge to be effective.

In conclusion, I take this opportunity to remind the senator of the same-sex reforms delivered by this government. These reforms will eliminate discrimination against same-sex couples and their children in a wide range of areas including social security, taxation, Medicare, veterans affairs, workers compensation, educational assistance, superannuation, family law and child support.