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26th June 2007 Letter and DVD-Video/CD-ROM package sent to the Chief of Staff, The Courier Mail newspaper. After receiving the 22 June 2007 letter from Attorney-General Kerry Shine advising continued inaction on reform, I contacted the Courier mail by phone and sent them (by Registered Mail) a detailed  package of printed information as well as the same DVD-Video/CD-ROM package as was sent to every Queensland Member of Parliament. I wrote that “I believe that Premier Beattie will be content to remain inactive on this reform, for as long as he knows that there is no pressure from mainstream media. He should be forced to explain exactly why his Government has been refusing to allow equal protection and support of all Queensland youth – regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.”

 


 

From: John Frame

82 Main Avenue

Wavell Heights 4012

Ph: 07 3350 1562

Email: jvframe@ozemail.com.au

Website: www.queerradio.org/AgeOfConsent.htm

 

To:    Attention Chief Of Staff,

The Courier Mail

41 Campbell Street

Bowen Hills 4006

 

Date: 26th June 2007

 

Re:    Beattie Government places the health and well being of youth at continued serious risk by choosing to ignore calls from the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, and others, to urgently reform Queensland’s unequal age of consent.

 

I have been actively lobbying the Beattie Government for seven years on this important issue of social justice for youth. However both the Premier and his Attorneys-General have refused to meet with any representative group to discuss the need for reform action – while offering no reasons for their repeated position of having “no plans for reform”.

 

So during February to May this year I produced a DVD-Video/CD-ROM pack entitled “6 Statements of Support for Equal Age Of Consent Reform in Queensland” and during June I have posted a copy to every Member of Parliament. I wanted every MP to be aware of how serious this issue is – and of the strong demand for reform.

 

The “6 Statements” project comprises a 2 disc DVD case containing a DVD-Video of the six statements, as well as a CD-ROM which includes transcripts (as Word files), audio files (as CD quality “wav” files) and several other important relevant documents – notably the 15th July 2005 letter from ADCQ Commissioner Susan Booth to then Attorney-General Hon. Rod Welford, in which she wrote a more detailed statement recommending urgent reform.

 

I have included for your reference, the complete DVD-Video/CD-ROM pack, as well as:

(1) contact details for the DVD-Video statement contributors

(2) a copy of the covering letter sent with each DVD-Video/CD-ROM pack

(3) a copy of the 22nd June 2007 letter of reply from the Attorney-General

(4) a copy of the feature article on this project as printed in the June 2007 edition of Queensland Pride Magazine

(5) a copy of ADCQ Commissioner Susan Booth’s 15th July 2005 letter to the A-G

(6) the complete transcripts of the six video statements.

 

So far I have received appreciative replies on behalf of Deputy Premier Anna Bligh, Child Safety Minister Desley Boyle and the Member for Tablelands Rosa lee Long.

 

I’ve also received a very polite email from David Gibson, the Member for Gympie and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Shadow Minister for State Development, and Shadow Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations. David said that he supported equity, but that his religious conviction was that the age of consent ought to be raised to 18 for all youth. I know that Member for Nanango Dolly Pratt holds the same view as David.  

 

Today I received a letter from Attorney-General Shine, dated 22nd June 2007, which merely repeats the Beattie Government’s long standing but unqualified position that they have no plans to act on this reform.

 

The Beattie Government has never offered any reason for refusing to enact reform – even though they are well aware of the law’s potential for damage. They are equally aware that since 2003 Queensland has been the only Australian State or Territory which does not have an equal age of consent.

 

Peter Beattie is also on record, as Chair of the 1990 PCJC Report on Homosexual Law reform, as personally supporting an equal age of consent. A pdf file of that report is included in the enclosed pack’s CD-ROM and reference to the relevant section of the Report is included on the DVD’s back cover. 

 

I believe that Premier Beattie will be content to remain inactive on this reform, for as long as he knows that there is no pressure from mainstream media. He should be forced to explain exactly why his Government has been refusing to allow equal protection and support of all Queensland youth – regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.

 

I believe it is scandalous that the Premier rates the health and welfare of youth so low.

 

It is interesting to note that an equal age of consent was actually included in the Goss Government’s 1995 Revised Criminal Code - but no one seemed to notice or complain. Sadly that whole Bill was repealed by the Borbidge Government in 1996 – just before it would have become law. The Borbidge revamp of the 1899 Code included doubling the unequal age difference in terms of years (minimum age up from 17 to 18 for anal intercourse) and penalties (up from 7 to 14 years imprisonment for any offender).

 

It’s about time that all Queensland youth were able to expect to be treated with equity – and it should be a prime concern for the whole of the rest of the community (not just family and friends) that this should happen immediately.  

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

John Frame