Gender-neutral language in our laws


Today the ACT Government will introduce gender-neutral language in a range of laws and regulations in the territory.

The Attorney-General will today introduce to the ACT Legislative Assembly the Statute Law Amendment Bill 2022, which will update almost 40 pieces of ACT legislation with gender-neutral language, in line with current legislative drafting practice.

References in the acts and regulations to ‘he’ or ‘she’, ‘his or her’, ‘him or her’ and ’himself or herself’ will be deleted in favour of ‘they’, ‘their’, ‘them’, ‘themself' or the relevant noun.

Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury said the use of gender-neutral language is important to create an accepting, and inclusive Canberra.

“Language is important and powerful. Many Canberrans are gender diverse, and Canberra is an inclusive and welcoming community. It is time that the language of our legislation reflects that,” Attorney-General Rattenbury said.

“The use of personal pronouns in the masculine or feminine are simply no longer appropriate in our legislation. The use of gender-neutral language in our society is important to reflect and foster an accepting, inclusive, and progressive Canberra community.

“Using gender-fair and inclusive language also helps reduce gender stereotyping, promotes social change and contributes to achieving gender equality.”