NSW Parliamentary Friendship GroupBruce Notley-Smith, Penny Sharpe, Alex Greenwich and Jenny Leong lead LGBTQI Friendship group

In a show of multi-partisan support, the New South Wales Parliament has launched the Parliamentary Friendship Group of LGBTIQ with members from across all major parties joining forces to champion LGBTIQ issues.

Member for Coogee Bruce Notley-Smith has been elected as Chair of the group with The Hon. Penny Sharpe elected Deputy Chair, Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich elected Treasurer and Member for Newtown Jenny Leong has been sworn in as Secretary.

The group’s first meeting was held on June 25 and was attended by around 30 members of Parliament.

“I am humbled to be elected Chair of this group which will build to support the LGBTIQ community and provide a forum for MPs to hear about issues often not talked about in Parliament; whether it is homophobic bullying in schools, access to adequate medical treatment for transgender people, or ending unnecessary surgeries performed on intersex infants,” Notley-Smith said.

Ms Sharpe said, “Groups like this can promote equality, education and action on the issues that matter to the LGBTIQ community. I look forward to working with all the MP’s who have joined up over the life of this Parliament. I also look forward to finding ways for the LGBTIQ community to connect and have their voice heard in the NSW Parliament.”

“Congratulations to Bruce Notley-Smith for driving the establishment of the LGBTIQ friendship group. The group will work across the parliament to support and celebrate the LGBTIQ community and their contribution to NSW. There are many challenges ahead for LGBTIQ law reform and I look forward to working with my colleagues to progress equality” Greenwich said.

Greens Sexuality and Gender Identity spokesperson and Member for Newtown Jenny Leong said,  “After the wonderful cross-party support for Alex Greenwich’s motion on marriage equality in the lower house yesterday, I am very pleased to be taking an active role in this important new parliamentary group working to ensure we keep the interests of the LGBTIQ community on the agenda.”

The official launch for the Parliamentary Friendship group will be held on the evening of Tuesday, August 25 at NSW Parliament House which is open to members of the community.