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24th September 2007 Email to our new Premier, the Honourable Ms. Anna Bligh (C.c. Attorney- General Kerry Shine) urging the announcement of a fixed time-frame for equal age of consent law reform – ideally with a date of effect before 1st December 2007 (World AIDS Day), in order to prove the Bligh Government’s commitment to fighting the spread of HIV for all Queenslanders, and their commitment to the equal protection and support of all youth.


 

----- Original Message -----

From: John Frame

To: thepremier@premiers.qld.gov.au

Cc: John Frame ; Attorney-SMTP

Sent: Monday, September 24, 2007 1:06 PM

Subject: World AIDS Day and Queensland Law Reform

 

To:       Hon. Premier Ms. Anna Bligh

C.c. to: Hon. Attorney-General Kerry Shine

 

Dear Ms Bligh,

 

I am contacting you, in your new capacity as Premier, to plead for the Queensland Government to finally set a firm plan of action for reforming our state's unequal age of consent, which is the only law of its kind in Australia and one which places thousands of Queensland youth, aged 16 and 17, at dramatically increased risk of HIV infection (the virus which leads to AIDS).

 

The 1st of December is Worlds AIDS Day and it will be marked again this year throughout Queensland by a series of public events - many of them funded by Queensland Health.

 

This is the ideal opportunity for the Bligh Queensland Government to prove that it holds proactive concern for the health and well being of Queensland youth and that it respects them as an invaluable asset for our state's future, by amending the Criminal Code so that it will apply a truly equal age of consent at age 16.

 

In all correspondence which I have received since 2000 from the offices of the Premier and the Attorney-General, there has been a careful refusal to commit to any timeframe for this reform. There has also been no reason offered as to why the Government has been content to leave youth at high risk of HIV infection, self harm, homophobic abuse, and suicide by the delaying of this reform.

 

In June 2007 I sent a DVD/CD-ROM package to every Member of Queensland Parliament and I appreciate that the very first (and positive) response that I received was from your office as Deputy Premier (dated 15th Jun 2007 Ref F/07/00178).

 

Full details, including YouTube videos and transcripts of the DVD/CD-ROM package "6 Statements of Support for Equal Age Of Consent Reform in Queensland" are on my site at: 

http://www.queerradio.org/AOC_June_2007_DVD_CD-ROM_pack.htm

 

I have received supportive replies regarding that package from quite a few men and women Labor MP's. However the leaders of the Nationals and the Liberals both replied with hard line refusals of support - which is not surprising considering that they doubled the penalties and raised the minimum age for anal intercourse in 1996 - immediately after they had repealed Labor's 1995 "Revised Criminal Code" (which would have otherwise enacted a truly equal age of consent).    

 

The greatest gift that the Bligh Government can give to the people of Queensland is to enable a future in which all youth may expect to be equally supported and protected. A truly equal age of consent is the necessary first step in allowing Queensland youth to achieve their maximum potential with a minimum of risk.

 

I must assume that Labor sees that it has a duty of care for Queensland youth to fix this legal anomaly and bring us into line with every other state and territory in Australia. I urge you to consider announcing that the law will be amended as a matter of urgency - so that World AIDS Day 2007 becomes a landmark date in our state's battle to protect everyone in the community from HIV/AIDS.  

 

I look forward to hearing from you and I welcome any query or comment.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

John Frame
jvframe@ozemail.com.au
www.queerradio.org/JohnFrame.html
Ph: 07 3350 1562 / mobile: 0409 501 561
Post: 82 Main Avenue, Wavell Heights 4012, QLD, Australia.
 
----"There is no substitute for equality"----