Scott Morrison has labelled new guidelines by Cricket Australia for including transgender cricketers in the sport “heavy-handed,” suggesting it should be up to individual cricket clubs to decide whether they welcomed trans players.

“I think it’s pretty heavy-handed, to put it pretty mildly,” the Prime Minister told 2GB Radio earlier today.

“There are far more practical ways to handle these issues than these heavy mandatory ways of doing it, and I’m sure these issues have [been] quite carefully and practically managed at a club level already.”

“Why there’s a necessity to get the sledgehammer out on this is mystifying me, but I think we need to get the issue in perspective and ensure we manage it calmly.”

Under the new guidelines, transgender women who want to compete in the female-elite category of cricketing must demonstrate a concentration of testosterone in serum less than 10 nanomoles a litre continuously for 12 months or more.

This matches the International Cricket Council’s current gender recognition policy in this area and Cricket Australia’s own policy will be revisited and evaluated every 12 months going forward.

ACON’s Pride in Sport initiative has responded to inflammatory coverage of the policy in the media today.

“While we respect the fact people are free to hold personal opinions on all matters, we would encourage leaders in Australia to act in a manner which is inclusive of all Australians, and to refrain from using language that adds to a culture of division within Australian society – that in turn makes the lives of vulnerable people harder,” Pride in Sport said in a statement.

“Trans and gender diverse people shoulder a real and pressing burden of mental health issues. These experiences are directly related to stigma, discrimination and transphobia, and not the result of trans and gender diverse people being who they are.”

“We urge all leaders and commentators to ensure that a truly a safe and cohesive society in Australia includes our most vulnerable populations. It is only when those on the margins are meaningfully included that we can hope to build the health, wellbeing, safety and inclusion of all Australians. Unity, not division, must be our ultimate goal.”

 “Cricket Australia, as a member of Pride in Sport, has continued to rightly demonstrate their passion for inclusion and diversity, ensuring that everyone involved in the sport – both on and off the pitch – feels welcome and included.”

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