The NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Institutional Responses to LGBTI Hate Crimes and the Bashing of Alan Rosendale

Dowson Turco Lawyers celebrates a successful campaign for a parliamentary inquiry into LGBTI hate crimes in NSW

Dowson Turco Lawyers (DTL) welcomes the announcement of a NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into historic LGBTI hate crimes in NSW, including the response of the NSW justice system.

The NSW Legislative Council’s Standing Committee on Social Issues will hold an inquiry into institutional responses to gay and transgender hate crimes committed in NSW between 1970 and 2010.

DTL acts for Alan Rosendale, who was bashed in a violent assault at a gay beat near South Dowling Street in 1989. A third-party independent witness recorded the numberplate of the vehicle carrying the perpetrators and it was subsequently confirmed with senior NSW Police officers that the number plate was that of a NSW Police Force vehicle. The inquiry should investigate Alan’s matter from all angles.

Nicholas Stewart, a DTL partner, said: “We commend the NSW Parliament for inquiring further into gay and transgender hate crimes committed in NSW between 1970 and 2010, and how justice agencies responded to these violent crimes.

“So many victims of this epidemic of LGBTIQ hatred have not received the treatment they would have received had they not been LGBTIQ,” Nicholas said.

“One victim’s mother wrote repeatedly to the NSW Police Force asking for it to investigate her son’s disappearance, but her multiple letters over many years were ignored. It was not until a brave NSW Police officer, Steve Page, saw the victim’s mother’s letters and used considerable personal time and energy to prompt an investigation.”

“It’s time to look at the past wrongs of our justice agencies and ensure not only that they are put right, but are never made again,” Nicholas said.

In May, the AIDS Council of NSW (ACON) released the report “In Pursuit of Truth & Justice”, which looked at suspected anti-gay and anti-transgender homicides that occurred in NSW between the 1970s and 1990s. Among its recommendations was an independent inquiry that would explore the extent of historical violence experienced by the LGBTI community.

“We extend our gratitude to members of the NSW Parliament, particularly those who helped bring about this inquiry. Those members include The Hon. Shayne Mallard MLC, The Hon. Trevor Kahn MLC, Alex Greenwich MP, Ms Jenny Leong MP and The Hon. Penny Sharpe MLC. Their leadership means a lot for the survivors, their loved ones, the families of victims and the broader LGBTI community,” Nicholas said.

DTL has campaigned for this inquiry for many years. We are grateful to our friends in the NSW Parliament but also those friends within ACON as well as Rick Feneley, Susie Thompson, Steve Page, Duncan McNab and Stephen Tomsen. We look forward to assisting victims of hate crimes, including lesbians, bisexuals, intersex people and queer people, to tell their stories and inform our parliamentarians of the extreme violence our community suffered and still suffers.

Media Contact: Kel Murray
P: (02) 0407 675 529