26 September 2023

Inquiry to examine LGBTIQ hate crimes

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A Special Commission of Inquiry into LGBTIQ Hate Crimes has been established to examine the manner and cause of death in all unsolved suspected hate crime deaths in NSW between 1970 and 2010.

Announced by Premier, Dominic Perrottet, the Special Commission is to focus on cases where the victim was a member of the LGBTIQ community and the death was the subject of a previous investigation by the NSW Police Force.

Mr Perrottet said the Inquiry, led by Justice John Sackar who has been appointed Commissioner, would also examine the manner and cause of death in all cases that remained unsolved from the 88 deaths or suspected deaths considered by Strike Force Parrabell.

“These unsolved deaths have left loving families without answers for too long,” he said.

“This Inquiry provides an opportunity to focus further scrutiny on suspected hate crimes and, under the leadership of Justice Sackar, will work to close a dark chapter of our State’s history that has left an indelible mark.”

Mr Perrottet said the establishment of the Judicial Inquiry responded to a key recommendation of the Legislative Council’s Standing Committee on Social Issues Inquiry into Gay and Transgender hate crimes between 1970 and 2010, tabled in May last year.

Attorney General, Mark Speakman said Justice Sackar would have the power to hold hearings, summons witnesses and inspect documents.

“A Special Commission of Inquiry is a powerful investigative tool to look for answers for which many have been waiting decades,” Mr Speakman said.

“No one should have to suffer the distress of not knowing what happened to someone they love.”

He said Justice Sackar was expected to deliver a final report by 30 June next year.

Counselling services for LGBTIQ community members who have experienced violence, as well as survivors’ friends and loved ones, can be accessed through ACON on (02) 9206 2000, QLife on 1800 184 527 and Lifeline on 13 14 11.

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