City group calls for 
all-gender facilities

A Mount Gambier community group has called for all-gender facilities to be considered in any future toilet block builds.

LGBTIQA+ Limestone Coast Connect spokesperson Patrick Smith said local council and governments needed to acknowledge the needs of the greater community.

“Everyone, everywhere has the right to access safe and appropriate toilets, that includes here in Mount Gambier,” he said.

“We implore both the City of Mount Gambier and the State Government to ensure that any future builds of toilet facilities are all-gender, so as to create a better welcoming and inclusive place to visit, do business and live.

“While there is some provision and accommodation by having unisex accessible facilities, however trans and non-binary people who are not disabled do not want to occupy bathrooms designated for people with accessibility needs.

“The use of the accessible facilities by non-impaired trans and non-binary people may receive unwanted attention, with others questioning why they are using a bathroom for mobility impaired people.”

Mr Smith said the Sex Discrimination Act (2013) makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone because of their gender identity, including when accessing bathrooms.

“The Act states that ‘requiring a person who is transgender to use a toilet that does not align with their gender identity is discrimination’,” he said.

“To restrict any person from using the bathroom that best affirms their gender may be unlawful. This includes trans people who have not legally affirmed their gender or engaged in any surgical intervention.”

Mr Smith suggested simple retrofitting by signage could be accommodated through a facility upgrade program.

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