Victoria province in Australia has confirmed its ban on so-called “conversion therapy” in a vote in the Upper House yesterday.

It outlaws “therapy” that claims to change either someone’s gender identity or sexuality. After many decades of such treatments being offered they still don’t work, only causing suffering and shame in the people who are pressured into undergoing them. Even if the promised results were desirable, they simply aren’t achieved.

It passed by 27 votes to 9 with cross-party support including from the Liberals (the confusingly named Australian counterpart to our Conservatives).

Such therapy will now bring the potential of fines and imprisonment for those providing it or pressing people into undergoing it – of up to ten years’ imprisonment and a fine equivalent to around £100,000.

The debunked treatment is discredited round the world but allowed in many countries and sometimes even given state support.

The official news release from the parliament says: “These are practices which have no basis in medicine; there is no evidence that sexual orientation or gender identity can be changed. Not only are these practices ineffective, they are deeply harmful and can cause long-term mental health issues and, in the most tragic of cases, suicide.”

The UK government has repeatedly pledged to outlaw it here too, but without any action – and given the shift in the balance of power within the Conservative party on such issues since the 2019 election such a reform seems to be further away now than it was two years ago.