Liberal Senator for Tasmania Claire Chandler has called on the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner to immediately dismiss the complaint and allow free discussion on safety and fairness in women’s sports, following the last-minute cancellation of tomorrow’s conciliation hearing.

The Commissioner today cancelled the conciliation hearing set for tomorrow after Senator Chandler refused to sign a confidentiality agreement which would have prevented her speaking about the complaint process.

“I’ve made clear from the start that I will not be withdrawing, modifying, retracting or apologising for my common sense advocacy for safety and fairness in women’s sport and recognition of biological sex. It is pleasing that the Commissioner has recognised that it is not appropriate to compel someone to attend a compulsory conciliation session for doing nothing more than expressing commonly-held and scientifically-backed views.” Senator Chandler said.

“However, the Commissioner’s ongoing failure to dismiss the complaint, which I’ve clearly demonstrated has no legal basis or substance, leaves Australians who wish to advocate for women’s sex-based rights in legal limbo. If the Commissioner does not dismiss the complaint the investigation phase alone can drag on for up to six months with a potential Tribunal inquiry to follow.

“Until the complaint is dismissed, the Commissioner’s finding that the statement “women’s sports, women’s toilets and women’s changerooms are designed for people of the female sex (women) and should remain that way” could be ‘prohibited conduct’ under the Anti-Discrimination Act creates a ludicrous and unacceptable imposition on free speech.

“In my written response to the Commissioner’s determination I have outlined numerous grounds on which the complaint must be dismissed. The Commissioner should take immediate steps to dismiss the complaint and make clear that elected representatives and the Australian public are free to openly discuss the important issue of sex-based rights.”