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The inquiry will investigate the murders of people in the LGBTIQ community between 1970 and 2010 to try and find out how and why the person was killed.
It will also investigate the manner and cause of death in 88 deaths or suspected deaths considered by Strike Force Parrabell.
Honourable Justice John Sackar will be the commissioner.
“These unsolved deaths have left loving families without answers for too long,” Premier Dominic Perrottet said.
“This Inquiry provides an opportunity to focus further scrutiny on suspected hate crimes, and under the leadership of Justice Sackar will work to close a dark chapter of our state’s history that has left an indelible mark.”
Justice Sackar will have access to the findings of previous inquiries and reports as well as the power to call witnesses, hold hearings and inspect documents.
Attorney General Mark Speakman said the inquiry hopefully will bring answers to the families of those who have suffered decades of grief.
“A Special Commission of Inquiry is a powerful investigative tool to look for answers for which many have been waiting decades. No one should have to suffer the distress of not knowing what happened to someone they love,” Mr Speakman said.
NSW’s leading LGBTQ health organisation, ACON, has welcomed the inquiry.
“For decades, sexuality and gender diverse people in NSW were subjected to horrific hate crimes,” ACON CEO Nicholas Parkhill said.
“This epidemic of violence, along with the slow and inadequate responses to many of these crimes, have left a painful legacy for the loved ones of victims, survivors, their families, and the broader community.”
“Significant questions remain, and they cannot be allowed to persist unanswered because evidence and memory have been lost. Many of the survivors and the perpetrators may not be with us for much longer.”
Mr Parkhill added the inquiry will also need to address the “systemic failures” in investigating these deaths.
“It will need to uncover where there have been systematic failures and wrongdoing, particularly in law enforcement systems and justice agencies. This will be critical to ensuring this does not happen again,” he said.