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Councillor Under Fire For Gender Views

by | Fri, Nov 10 2023

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A Hobart city councillor has been referred to Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Commissioner over gender-related comments. Councillor Louise Elliot publicly described a council workshop on inclusion and gender diversity as “re-education which was imposed on her.”

The Mercury reports Deputy Mayor Helen Burnet claimed that assertion was “disrespectful” and could be in breach of codes and laws, adding that: “We have an obligation to our community and the general public to treat others in a respectful way.”

Ahead of a motion to refer her to the Integrity Commission and the Director of Local Government, Cr. Elliot sent an email to other councillors, saying: “I want to flag with you that I view the submission of the motion by Cr. Burnet as further bullying behaviour towards me. Elected members who chose to actively or passively engage with Cr. Burnet’s bullying motion may be viewed as contributing to/complicit with workplace bullying. I am taking legal and other action given the persistent, ongoing and highly distressing bullying I am experiencing from some elected members and officer [sic]. I have already advised the Minister.”

“[The] personal attack on me served no decent purpose other than to provide those who enjoy persecuting me in a group setting with the opportunity to do so. As the motion was about me, I wasn’t even able to defend myself as I had a conflict,” Cr. Elliot told The Mercury.

Her email upset other councillors and Cr. Burnet’s motion was passed. Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds has also written to the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner about the councillor’s comments. It indicated the council believes Cr. Elliot could be held accountable for potentially discriminatory comments made by others on her social media pages.

Christian campaigner Kirralie Smith who founded Binary Australia which seeks to push back against harmful gender theory and the aggressive ideological agenda writes: “The Hobart City Council is going to extreme lengths to silence a councillor who has been questioning its position on gender identity ideology.”

“Louise Elliot is a strong advocate for women’s sex-based rights, spaces and services, as well as stringent safeguarding for children. Some of her fellow councillors have tried to hinder her doing her job because they are staunch advocates for people appropriating opposite sex stereotypes and the medicalisation of children suffering gender identity confusion.”

“Councillors are democratically elected and should have every right to represent constituents and question council policy on their behalf. The [treatment] of Councillor Elliot is unacceptable and undemocratic. If the other councillors are so sure of their position, why are they so afraid of debate and evidence-based information?” Ms. Smith wrote on the Binary website.