ABORIGINAL leader Warren Mundine has labelled the debate around gender neutral bathrooms for trans people ‘silly nonsense’ during an interview with columnist Andrew Bolt.

The transphobic comments were made on The Bolt Report after Bolt brought up Donald Trump’s recent immigration ban on refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries.

In his first National Press Club address of the year, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten derided PM Malcolm Turnbull for ‘not standing up’ and remaining silent about Trump’s ban despite other world leaders speaking out against it.

Mundine criticised Shorten’s speech by saying that a lot of Trump’s decisions wouldn’t affect Australia, before directing his attention to domestic issues.

“[Turnbull] needs to be strong in regards to some of these social issues, which a lot of people are getting sick and tired of doing,” he said.

“All people want to do is have a job, get their kids educated, and build a better life for themselves – and if we listen to Shorten we’re going to have a lot of problems.

“This is why people are revolting. They’re getting sick and tired of these politicians talking about silly debates like should we have transgender toilets.

“They should listen to the science of biology – there are two sexes and there have been two sexes for millions of years, since human beings have been around. We’re sick and tired of this silly nonsense.”

Sistergirl Lisa O’Brien from Sistergirls and Brotherboys Australia said Mundine’s comments amplify the vitriol already faced by members of the trans and gender diverse community.

“I think we’re already fighting to try and get acceptance in our own community and comments like his just go towards increasing violence and hate towards Sistergirls and Brotherboys,” she said.

“It’s enforcing negative attitudes and it’s making people ashamed of who they are and it makes it even harder for them to come out and find acceptance.”

O’Brien added that people like Mundine clearly hadn’t spoken to members of the community or educated themselves on trans identities.

“In my experience and through the elders I’ve spoken to [trans identities] have been part of our culture for many years,” she said.

“If I was to go into a men’s toilet I would be really at risk of being raped, or beaten, or making other people feel uncomfortable because I don’t belong there.”

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