Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Newman: promise of no change to surrogacy "a mistake"

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has told the Brisbane Times that his pre-election promise as to surrogacy: “We will not be making any changes to the laws on those matters” was a "mistake".

The Premier claims that that was not the position of the party then, and is certainly not the position of the party now, and that this is "democracy".

"Democracy" necessarily involves the informed consent of the people. There is no mandate for the proposed changes. The people of Queensland were told by Mr Newman before the last election that there would be no change. Nowhere was surrogacy mentioned on Mr Newman's website vision for Queensland. At no stage did the LNP release any statement before the election that there would be a change. Aside from Mr Newman's words that there would be no change, all we heard was silence. Not one member of the LNP stood up and said that Mr Newman got it wrong.

The only time that the people of Queensland  have been told that there would be a change was when the Attorney-General addressed Parliament in debate on another bill, about 3 months this side of the election.

As the Brisbane Times interview makes clear, the Premier refuses to tell the people of Queensland why he is opposed to same sex couples and singles having access to surrogacy. The Premier is silent about why he thinks it is appropriate, in the words of a client of mine for the "Government (to be) playing God", to determine who should, and who should not be a parent.The Premier is silent about why his Government proposes to jail people for up to 3 years merely for seeking to have children.

The Premier is silent about why it is appropriate to remove the recognition of women from birth certificates as "parents", and whether this will just affect children born after the proposed changes occur, or whether it is to apply to women who are already recognised on birth certificates.

The Premier is silent about those families where the co-mother is now recognised on the birth certificate for one child, but might not be recognised on the birth certificate for any further children born.

The Premier is silent about when it was recognised that he had made a "mistake", and why the people of Queensland were not then told about the "mistake".

The article can be found here.

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