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ACON Welcomes O'Farrell Government

28 March 2011

Barry O'Farrel

Newly appointed NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell (C) pictured with his key members
of his shadow cabinet (L-R) Jillian Skinner, Mike Gallacher, Adrian Piccoli,
Nationals leader Andrew Stoner, Gladys Berejiklian and Mike Baird.
Picture: Sam Ruttyn Source: The Daily Telegraph.

NSW's new Coalition government is being urged to continue the delivery of health outcomes for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and people affected by HIV by building on a series of recent GLBT-related law reforms and healthcare initiatives.

ACON, NSW's leading GLBT health and HIV organisation, says it congratulates the incoming O'Farrell government and looks forward to developing close working relationships with all relevant new ministers and policy-makers.

While a pre-election survey indicated the Coalition will be generally supportive of the GLBT community and people affected by HIV, ACON President Mark Orr says ACON and its partner agencies will be working to elicit more specific commitments on a range of issues.

"ACON congratulates the Coalition on being elected as the next government of NSW and we look forward to working with Mr O'Farrell and his new Cabinet over the next four years to help ensure that the needs of the community which ACON serves are addressed," Mr Orr says.

"We also thank the outgoing Labor government for the support it has provided to our community over the last 16 years, especially maintaining funding for HIV prevention and care, plus the range of legal reforms and healthcare initiatives it delivered over the last 12 months."

"These reforms and initiatives included legislative amendments allowing adoption by same sex couples, the formation of a Ministerial Advisory Committee for GLBT health and wellbeing, an additional $450,000 for GLBT mental health programs and an additional $250,000 for a trial of anti-homophobia education in schools.

"We trust the new government will maintain these commitments and keep the momentum going by continuing to deliver important health and wellbeing outcomes for the GLBT community and people affected by HIV."

Mr Orr says ACON looks forward to working with the O'Farrell government to develop a sixth NSW HIV Strategy.

"Maintaining investment in HIV prevention and support is crucial to the effectiveness of the HIV response in NSW. Prior to the election, the Coalition committed to ensuring that HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment initiatives continue to receive an appropriate share of government funding. ACON and our partner agencies look forward to working with the new Health Minister to get more specific commitments for HIV-related programs and services."

Mr Orr says ACON will also seek firmer commitments from the new government in relation to a range of specialised health and wellbeing services for GLBT people.

"Prior to the election, the Coalition recognised that GLBT people are a higher-risk group for a range of mental and physical health issues. Again, ACON and our partner agencies look forward to working will all new relevant ministers to help ensure funding is maintained for the programs and services which help build the health and wellbeing of our community."

For the Coalition's full pre-election survey responses, please visit www.acon.org.au/election



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For more information or to arrange an interview or photo opportunity, please contact us.

Contact: Andrew Hamadanian, Media and Communications Officer, ACON

Tel: (02) 9206 2044  
Mobile: 0419 555 768 

Email: ahamadanian@acon.org.au