States and territories have been given one more year (to 31 July 2016) to ensure that their laws comply with the prohibition in the federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984 against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.
Protection against discrimination because of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status was introduced into the Sex Discrimination Act in 2013. A provision inserted at the same time (s 40(2B)) provided an exemption for conduct that would otherwise amount to discrimination on any of these grounds if the conduct was in direct compliance with a Commonwealth, state and territory law prescribed by regulations.
All Commonwealth, state and territory laws in force on 1 August 2013 were prescribed for an initial period of one year, allowing these governments to review their laws and determine whether they complied with the new provisions. In 2014, state and territory laws were prescribed for a further year to 31 July 2015. The prescription of Commonwealth laws was removed as a review had determined that these laws were consistent with the protections.
The Sex Discrimination Amendment (Exemptions) Regulation 2015 now prescribe state and territory laws that were in force on 1 August 2013 for a further 12 months to 31 July 2016.
Sex Discrimination Amendment (Exemptions) Regulation 2015 (SLI 115/2015)