Equality advocates are urging the West Australian government to introduce a comprehensive ban on gay conversion therapy which would expand the scope beyond healthcare settings.
Premier Mark McGowan promised at last year's election he would ban conversion therapy by implementing a national code of conduct for unregulated healthcare workers.
A legislative amendment enabling the change is before the Legislative Council, having passed through the lower house in May.
But LGBTI groups have warned it doesn't go far enough because it fails to target the use of the practice in religious and educational settings.
They have argued their case in submissions to a state parliamentary inquiry into the Esther Foundation women's rehabilitation centre.
The centre, which had links to Pentecostal churches, entered administration in April after the emergence of sexual assault allegations and claims residents were denied health services and forced to undergo conversion therapy.
In a joint submission to the inquiry, Ending Conversion Practices WA and Youth Pride Network urged the government to stamp out conversion therapy in non-healthcare settings.
"Legislation that only targets formal or health-based practices will do very little to address the harm," they said.
Victoria last year became the third Australian jurisdiction to pass laws banning gay conversion therapy.
Its bill went a step further than those passed in the ACT or Queensland by explicitly banning the use of the practice in religious settings.
Equal Voices WA convenor Wendy Hendry said the Victorian legislation was a good model which should be carefully considered by the WA government.
"Too many of our friends and supporters have been harmed by such practices," she said.
"It is absolutely vital that legislation should apply to all people and entities, not just health and community service providers."
Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson in May said the McGowan government would look at the use of conversion therapies by religious organisations.
"That needs to be dealt with in separate legislation, and certainly the government is investigating that and how that may be implemented," she told parliament.
A report by La Trobe University last year found the majority of conversion therapy practice occurred in religious settings.
Survivors reported experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and a deep sense of shame.
In its submission, the Anglican Diocese of Perth said it had not formed a view on any potential laws, but conversion therapy did not occur in its agencies.
The Uniting Church WA recognised the practice as harmful and encouraged the government to consult with people of faith in shaping any ban.
At least 15 young women who had been under state care went on to reside at the Esther Foundation between 2005 and 2020, according to WA's Department of Communities.
Five were formally placed there, one self-referred and it was unclear who had initiated the contact for the remaining nine, the department said in its submission.
The state government also purchased a $3.9 million property in Kalamunda in 2010 and provided it to the foundation on a peppercorn lease.
Lifeline 13 11 14
beyondblue 1300 22 4636
Australian Associated Press
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.