Giz Watson

Member for North Metropolitan Region: 1997–2013

One of WA's inaugural '100 women of the century', Giz Watson has a degree in Environmental Science as well a Trade Certificate in carpentry and joinery.

She was the member for North Metropolitan Region since 1997. Giz was the first openly lesbian parliamentarian in Australia and she played a key role in lesbian and gay law reform in Western Australia in 2002. Legislation that granting gay and lesbian couples the same rights as de facto couples, particularly progressive in terms of their rights as parents. Her interests in ecology, peace and social justice have been expressed in issues like urban bushland, community housing, opposition to the arms trade, gay and lesbian rights.

Giz Watson was at the anti-Vietnam war rallies in the 1970s and was active in the first direct action campaign in WA against clear felling of jarrah forests for bauxite mining.

She has been at the forefront of resisting national and international attempts to dump nuclear waste in Western Australia, and to prevent uranium mining in this State. Her efforts saw several local councils pass motions opposing the transport, processing and/or storage of non-medical nuclear materials in their local areas. In 1992 Giz became one of only three women registered builders in Western Australia and subsequently ran her own business. In the UK, Giz trained nonviolent direct action groups for peace camps. These peace camps were instrumental in the removal of US nuclear missiles from the UK.

In Parliament Giz was at the forefront of justice issues defending the rule of law and civil liberties. She chaired the Legislative Council Standing Committee on Estimates and Financial Operations which dealt with any matter relating to the financial administration of the State as well as the budget estimates .

In 2011 Giz was recognised amongst 100 "Women of the Century" for her work in parliament and in the gay and lesbian community, and she was inducted into the WA Women's Hall of Fame.

As an MLC her portfolio areas were: agriculture, biodiversity, environment, finance and economics, fire and emergency services, fisheries and marine, forests, health, justice and prisons, multicultural issues, police, south west region, sports and recreation. Other issues included accountable government (such as regulation of paid lobbyists, a cap on election expenditure, enquiries where corruption or waste appears to have occurred); climate change (no new coal fired power stations and a shift to renewable energy); human rights (for example over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the criminal justice system; mandatory sentencing; prison over-crowding; stop and search powers; and prohibitive behaviour orders).

Giz Watson's Inaugural Speech (PDF)

Giz Watson's Valedictory Speech (PDF)

Speeches by Hon. Giz Watson

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