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Thursday, 24 May 2001
Page: 24308

Senator GREIG (12:25 PM) —With respect, Minister, the reality is that the majority of states either have reformed or plan to reform those laws—in other words, most Australian gay and lesbian citizens are now protected, and are covered to greater and lesser degrees, by some form of legal partnership recognition. It is only the Commonwealth that lags behind in that area. Would the minister accept that, if we are looking at roughly 2,500 surviving partners, even on a very conservative estimate, we might be looking at, in this case, 25 gay men who would be eligible if we had an equitable system of compensation but who will not under this? What legal redress would those 25 people have if and when aggrieved by this lack of compassion and compensation? For example, would HREOC be adequate to address their discrimination claims?