Supporting our Trans Community – Ministerial Response

Scroll down for the Minister’s response, or click here to discover more about how we’re working for Wendouree.

Original Constituency Question from Juliana Addison MP to Parliament –

My constituency question is for the Minister for Equality. What support is the government providing our trans community?

I believe Ballarat is home to the most vibrant LGBTQIA+ community in Victoria. I am proud to stand with the whole community, but in particular I express my unwavering support for the trans and gender-diverse members of my community who have been deeply impacted by the actions of those who seek to be hurtful and exclude them.

In Ballarat we are welcoming and supportive, with trans and gender-diverse people playing an important role in our community. To our trans and gender-diverse young people: we see you and support you, and we have great organisations to enable you to shine and thrive.

Thank you to Tiny Pride, the Y Ballarat, Trans and Gender Diverse Clothes Swap, Speak, A Place at the Table, Rainbow Ballarat Coffee, LaNCE TV, Frolic Festival, Headspace, Ballarat Community Health, Child and Family Services Ballarat and Youth Affairs Council Victoria. You all do such a great job supporting our trans community. I stand with you every day.

 

Response from the Hon Harriet Shing MP, Minister for Equality (22 Jan 2024) –

 

I thank the Member for Wendouree for their question, and their advocacy for their trans and gender diverse constituents.

The Victorian Labor Government stands with all trans and gender diverse Victorians. We will always support you and respect you, and your rights are not negotiable.

It is important that we understand that debates about trans rights in the media has real consequences on the wellbeing of trans and gender diverse communities and their families, especially vulnerable young people.

That is why the Government is proud to lead the way towards LGBTIQA+ equality. A historic $22.5 million investment in critical reforms to support LGBTIQA+ communities was announced in the 2023-24 State Budget in May. This investment will ensure Victoria’s ten-year LGBTIQA+ Strategy, Pride in our Future, continues to help build a state where all Victorians feel safe, are healthy, have equal human rights and can live wholly and freely.

On 18 November 2023, the Government announced an Australian-first transgender and gender diverse hub and support centre in Melbourne, Affirmation Station. The hub is an inclusive space run by Transgender Victoria where trans and gender diverse Victorians can connect, empower and celebrate their community. The hub was supported through funding provided to Transgender Victoria in March, as part of a $900,000 package to eight key trans and gender diverse support organisations in response to an increased demand for supports following anti-trans protests and media coverage.

This builds on the Government’s record of supporting trans and gender diverse communities:

  • A Trans and Gender Diverse Peer Support Program delivered by Transgender Victoria and the Government, which has engaged more than 1,800 trans and gender diverse Victorians and received $2 million in the 2022-23 State Budget.
  • The Trans and Gender Diverse in Community Health which received $1.5 million in 2022-23, beyond the $5.4 million committed in the 2018-19 and 2021-22 State Budgets. Over 1,400 health professionals have been trained in gender affirming care between 2020 and 2022 because of this important investment.
  • Mental health and wellbeing services delivered by the Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Health’s Gender Clinics to support trans and gender diverse young people, which received over $21 million in the 2021-22 State Budget.

In recognition and celebration of LGBTIQA+ people in the Wendouree electorate, the Government has provided $23,540 to local organisations through the Pride Events and Festivals Fund 2022-23. Funding supports the delivery of events including Speak Australia’s program of LGBTIQA+ Youth Pride events in Ballarat, Ballarat Frolic Festival’s 2023 summer program consisting of a four-day LGBTIQA+ festival event and Tiny Pride’s delivery of the Biggest Games Day Ever community event.

I am pleased to advise that an investment of $50,000 through the LGBTIQA+ Organisational Development Grants program 2022-23 was provided to Tiny Pride and Pride Goldfields. This funding aims to improve the capacity and support for both LGBTIQA+ organisations to work towards a sustainable independent future. These grants are an important investment for the Wendouree electorate, as they will support local LGBTIQA+ organisations to grow their crucial work, meaning continued support for local LGBTIQA+ Victorians.

I thank the Member again for their question and look forward to continuing to work with you on these issues.

Watch and read more of my speeches to Parliament here, including responses from ministers on how we’re working for Wendouree.