The Australian Congress has announced it will set up an independent inquiry into whether the country should have a gender-neutral gender recognition bill.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption will be given the task of examining the legislative framework, policy, policy changes, the Australian Government’s response to the report, and the role of the Federal Government in relation to the bill.
It is the second time the committee has been set up by the Australian Labor Party.
The Senate last year passed a Gender Recognition Act, which gave the Federal Parliament the power to legislate for the recognition of a person’s gender.
It was criticised by some advocates for making it impossible for a person to identify themselves in court.
It also left the door open for transgender people to seek gender recognition.
Senator Scott Ludlam has called the bill “sexist” and a “danger to the future of Australian democracy”.
In the lead-up to the election, Senator Ludlam said the bill was an attack on the “right to be forgotten”.
He argued that people should be able to change their name, address, gender identity, occupation, or social identity.
“It’s a far cry from the free speech protections and the right to privacy that Australians expect in a democracy,” he said.
“This bill, which has been criticised by transgender people and people who want to change gender identities, will give those rights to people who are already vulnerable, who are facing violence, who need protection, and who are also denied those rights.”
Mr Ludlam will chair the commission, which will meet once a week from 8:00am until 12:00pm.
The committee will also meet on the first Monday of every month, with two additional public hearings every two months.
The commission will be responsible for ensuring the bill is fair and has a positive impact on the lives of transgender Australians.
It will be led by Professor Ian Murray, the director of the Centre for Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Sydney.
“Gender identity is something that is a complex issue and it is an issue that is not well understood,” Professor Murray told ABC Radio.
“There is a lot of evidence about the potential impacts of this legislation, particularly for transgender individuals, and I think that it would be very good if the public could have a better understanding of the implications of this.”
A spokesperson for Senator Ludlman said the legislation would not be considered until after the election.
“The Independent Commission is only set up to advise the Senate on the Government’s responses to the Gender Recognitions Bill, and has no role in drafting or passing the legislation,” the spokesperson said.