Gender will no longer be listed on Queensland road and marine licences, in a move that has been hailed “political correctness gone mad”.
The state’s Department of Transport and Main Roads has confirmed the licencing scheme changes will be made to comply with new anti-discrimination laws among other drivers.
The requirement to detail height will also be removed, along with personal information including eye and hair colour.
According to an internal document obtained by The Courier Mail, the move follows complaints from the LGBTIQ community that the information may be “perceived as discriminatory”.
“TMR has received complaints and suggestions from members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community about displaying gender/sex (M or F) on TMR cards,” the leaked document reportedly stated.
While the state government reportedly confirmed a handful of complaints had been received, a government spokesman today said amendments to the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act in 2013 and improvements in technology were the main drivers behind the changes, along with customer feedback.
“Improvements in technology means information that identifies an individual can be readily accessed in other ways,” the statement said.
“For example, police have 24-7 access to this information, including the digital photograph as it appears on the licence, through QLite tablet devices.”
According to the statement, these drivers were not included in the internal document.
“The internal document referred to in media reports this morning provides a high-level summary for front line staff,” it said.
“The changes to federal legislation and technological improvements were not identified as drivers of change in that document.
“They should have been and we’ve asked that this additional information be included.”
In October 2016, the TMR stopped recording people’s gender and height for all new and renewed licences.
While drivers are still asked to nominate their gender when applying for a license, this doesn’t appear on the card.
Those who do not wish for their gender or height to appear on their current licence have the option of applying for a replacement.
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said the change was “madness”.
“It is offensive to taxpayers that their hard-earned money has been wasted on this rubbish,” she said, claiming the government should focus on real issues over political correctness.
The TMR has advised that other jurisdictions are making similar changes, saying further changes will be the result of ongoing consultation with stakeholders, including police.