Legislative Council: Thursday, December 01, 2022


Child Gender Dysphoria

The Hon. S.L. GAME (14:34): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question to the Attorney-General, representing the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, on child gender dysphoria treatment figures.

Leave granted.

The Hon. S.L. GAME: There are renewed calls from a number of prominent clinicians and advocacy groups for a national inquiry into how to treat Australian children with gender dysphoria. Unlike other Australian states, South Australia does not report on the number of children who are currently prescribed puberty blockers through public gender clinics, private facilities or general practitioners.

Figures have skyrocketed for children being treated at public clinics interstate; 2,067 children nationally attended public gender clinics in 2021, up from 204 in 2014. These national figures do not include South Australian children as they are not currently recorded. These medications and other related therapies can have lifelong effects, such as the ability to have children, and there is growing research in Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States showing that these therapies can lead to myriad unintended and undesired effects such as blood clots, permanent sleep apnoea, low bone density, brain development issues and even links to early onset Alzheimer's.

My questions to the Attorney-General representing the minister are:

1. How many South Australian children are currently accessing puberty blockers and other cross-hormone therapies?

2. Are there mechanisms for recording and tracking puberty blockers prescriptions from private consultants and GPs?

3. Does the Malinauskas government agree that an inquiry is overdue on the issue of how to treat and monitor children with gender dysphoria in this state?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:36): I thank the honourable member for her question, and as these matters fall within the purview of the Minister for Health I will be happy to pass them onto my colleague in another place and bring back a reply.