Albanese government must not snub LGBTIQA+ issues at Jobs Summit

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LGBTIQA+ advocates have written to the Albanese government to express their concern that next week’s Jobs and Skills Summit may snub the challenges in employment faced by LGBTIQA+ Australians.

Next week, employers will meet with the Albanese government and unions to discuss solutions to lift wages, jobs security and skills shortages.

Earlier, the government released the Jobs and Skills Summit’s Issues Paper, which pledged to include a focus on “expanding employment opportunities for all Australians including the most disadvantaged” but includes a glaring omission.

“While the participation rate is around historically high levels, many Australians still face barriers to secure and well-paid employment,” the paper reads.

“In particular, women, First Nations people, people with disability, older Australians, migrants and refugees, and those living in certain regional and remote areas face specific barriers to entering the workforce.

“This means there are further opportunities and obligations to ensure the benefits of strong labour market conditions are accessible to all people in Australia.”

Summit’s Issues Paper fails to mention LGBTIQA+ workers

However LGBTIQA+ advocates are very concerned that the paper does not once mention LGBTIQA+ workers. Just.Equal Australia spokesperson Rodney Croome also described the government’s omission as disappointing and concerning.

The group are writing to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Treasurer Jim Chalmers to urge them to “properly consider” the employment and workplace issues facing LGBTIQA+ people at the Summit.

“It’s very disappointing that the Government has so far overlooked the fact that LGBTIQA+ people face higher levels of employment and workplace discrimination and harassment than other Australians,” Croome said.

In a letter to Albanese government ministers, LGBTIQA+ advocate Alastair Lawrie also cited a 2021 study that their unemployment rate of 19% was three times higher than the Australian general population rate of 5.5% in May 2018, and well above the youth unemployment rate (12.2%). The study found a third of respondents also perceived discrimination in employment.

Greens call for LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Treasurer Jim Chalmers have been approached for comment on next week’s Jobs and Skills Summit.

Greens LGBTIQA+ spokesperson Stephen Bates told that the Issues Paper omission “highlights the Government’s lack of commitment to our community.”

“This is yet another example of politicians waving rainbow flags when it’s politically expedient while failing to improve our community’s working conditions,” he said.

“Our communities already face discrimination in employment and in our daily lives. We have poorer mental health outcomes, are more likely to experience unemployment, and face discrimination in many workplaces.”

Rodney Croome said the omission comes after the Government rejected a Greens proposal to appoint an LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner earlier this month.

The Human Rights Commission investigates discrimination complaints and promotes human rights in Australia and internationally. The Albanese government rejected a Greens proposal to establish a dedicated LGBTIQA+ commissioner to sit on the Commission for the first time.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

1 Comment

  1. Peta Fitzpatrick
    23 August 2022

    This is the kind of disappointing silence Stephen Bates predicted when we gathered at the Wickham pre-election and listened to LGBTQIA+ community leaders and advocates break down what Labor would look like for our community. Such a mistake Albo.. apart from the human rights violations going unchecked, we are a significant demographic politically and economically speaking.

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