Queensland licences to go 'gender-free' after complaints

TRANSPORT bureaucrats have scrapped gender on all Queensland licences after complaints from the LGBTI community, in a politically correct overhaul of the licencing scheme.

A requirement for Queenslanders to detail their height has also been removed, after concerns that the collection of personal information by transport authorities was potentially discriminatory.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) last night confirmed the move but blamed the changes on a need to make driver's and marine licences compliant with new anti-discrimination laws.

A sample Queensland driver’s licence which doesn’t show gender or height.
A sample Queensland driver’s licence which doesn’t show gender or height.

However, an internal document obtained by The Courier-Mail states that gender and height are being removed because of complaints that collecting the information may be viewed as discriminatory.

Further personal information including eye and hair colour is also being scrubbed from records attached to licences because it may be "perceived as discriminatory", the document reveals.

The State Government last night confirmed there had been a handful of complaints about drivers' gender being included on licences.

But a spokesman for Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the main reason for the change was federal anti-discrimination laws and improvements in technology that meant the data was not needed to identify someone.

The Transport and Main Roads department quietly stopped recording people's gender and height for all new and renewed licences in October 2016.

Opening morning of the Stage 2 of the Gold Coast light rail (g:link). Mark Bailey MP. Picture: Jerad Williams
Roads Minister Mark Bailey’s office said advancements in technology meant the details were no longer needed. Picture: Lachie Millard

People who have a current licence but do not want it to show their gender or height are able to apply for replacement card without this information.

"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 said.

Height was also removed from licences because of the potential for discrimination, according to the document on the department's internal system called DocBase.

"TMR has received feedback that the collection of personal information (eye and hair colour, complexion, height) may be perceived as discriminatory by some members of the community," the document said.

Drivers are still asked to nominate their gender when they apply for a licence but this is not shown on the card.

Height has been removed from licence application forms and also no longer appears on licence cards.

A Queensland Government spokesman said the internal document did not properly explain the reasons for the change.

"The changes to federal legislation and technological improvements were not identified as drivers of change in that document," the spokesman said.

"They should have been and we've asked that this additional information be included."

Police can still access information on gender through QLite tablet devices.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington described the changes as "madness" and said the Government needed to focus on real issues, not political correctness.

"It is offensive to taxpayers that their hard-earned money has been wasted on this rubbish," she said.