The Department of the Attorney General has revealed in Senate Estimate that they do not know whether Departments have implemented guidelines on the recognition of sex and gender which were introduced in 2013 and which should have been rolled out by 2016.
Questioned by Senator Janet Rice, Greens LGBTIQ spokesperson, the Department admitted that ten months after the guidelines should have been implemented, they didn’t know whether the Department of Human Services’ failure to do so was an isolated incident, or indicative of more widespread lack of compliance.
The guidelines state that individuals should have the option of selecting female, male or non-binary gender values on all government forms. The guidelines relate to all government departments and agencies that maintain personal records, including employee records.
Senator Rice noted that it has been ten months since the implementation deadline. Department officials stated they would shortly commence a review into the implementation.
Senator Rice said, “Commonwealth departments have had three years to implement these guidelines, not to mention the further ten months since the deadline. The department are not taking this seriously – it’s clearly not a priority for them.
“Rather than a review into the lack of implementation of these guidelines, the Department should be assisting Commonwealth departments and agencies to actually implement them.
“It’s simply not good enough. All Australians have a right to have their gender appropriately recognised by government agencies. It’s about inclusivity and recognising that not everyone fits into a binary category of gender,” concluded Senator Rice.