- Legislation to implement a scheme for the expungement of convictions for historical gay sex offences has passed through both houses of State Parliament
- McGowan Labor Government delivers key election commitment to LGBTIQ community
Legislation to implement a scheme for the expungement of historical homosexual convictions related to consensual homosexual activity that would not be illegal today, has passed through State Parliament.
Consensual homosexual activity was for many years a criminal offence in Western Australia under various provisions of the Criminal Code Act 1913. These provisions have since been repealed. However, the repeal of historical same-sex offence provisions did not address the ongoing implications of people with existing criminal records.
While people affected were able to obtain some relief to have the convictions deemed spent under certain circumstances, this did not provide for a complete removal of the offence from a person's criminal record.
The introduction of this scheme demonstrates the McGowan Government's commitment to principles of equality and fairness for all Western Australians.
Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:
"I am pleased that one of the McGowan Labor Government's key election commitments has been delivered with the passage of this legislation through the State Parliament.
"While it is a shame that Western Australia was one of the last jurisdictions to consider a scheme for the expungement of historical homosexual convictions, the Government has moved swiftly to implement this important reform.
"We recognised that many members of our community continue to carry the stigma of a criminal record for consensual acts that are no longer considered a crime in WA.
"The Government has also offered an apology to the LGBTIQ community for the discrimination, hurt and trauma they have suffered as a result of unjust convictions.
"People convicted under these laws will no longer need to have a criminal record hanging over their head for offences that are not illegal today.
"The Act will be proclaimed and the scheme will commence on October 1, 2018.
"Applications will be made to the Department of Justice, which will display all of the details on its website."
Attorney General's office - 6552 6800