Labor has pledged to appoint an LGBTI Discrimination Commissioner to “help build a more inclusive Australia” should it win government at the federal election on July 2.

The new LGBTI commissioner would cost $1.4 million over four years, with the appointment tasked with being a “champion” of the community’s rights.

Speaking at a Rainbow Labor campaign launch in Melbourne at the weekend, Labor senator Penny Wong (pictured) said the commissioner would “ensure lesbians, gays, transgender and intersex Australians live in a safer, more secure and more inclusive society”.

Labor’s proposed commissioner would also aim to eliminate discrimination from schools, workplaces and communities.

The party said the Human Rights Commission had noted research showing the rate of suicide for LGBT people was 3.5 to 14 times higher than the general population, and LGBT people were far more likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety.

After the announcement, Fairfax Media compiled a list of potential candidates for the job that includes former High Court judge Michael Kirby, transgender former senior military officer Cathering McGregor, openly lesbian former WA Labor senator Louise Pratt, former Greens leader Bob Brown, and independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich.

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