Wagga's parliamentarians have weighed in on the national debate about transgender children and sport.
On Friday, independent MP Joe McGirr said it was "distressing" to see a vulnerable group of people in the community "used as a political football".
"One of the core values of Australian society is inclusion and it concerns me when that's put at risk by politicised behaviour," Dr McGirr said.
On Thursday, Premier Dominic Perrottet attracted controversy when he said that when it comes to competitive sport "young girls should compete against young girls". Independent MP Alex Greenwich took exception to Mr Perrottet's stance and threatened to withdraw support for the government if further comments were made.
Speaking about the issue at a press conference in Wagga on Friday, Dr McGirr said Mr Perrottet had a point.
"To be fair, I think the Premier has highlighted an issue that many Australians are concerned about and that is fairness," he said.
"That of course is another important value we have as Australians.
"Sport is something we all treasure and clearly it is something that should be addressed.
"My understanding is the various codes of sporting bodies have been addressing this over the last few years and are in the process of working out how participation in sport takes place.
"That is as it should be.
"This should be a careful, sensible, considered discussion and the last thing we need is for it to be politicised."
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Dr McGirr said it was time to de-escalate the tone of the debate.
"What we now need is for the situation to calm down and for there to be some engagement with different groups in our community that represent trans people and also with the sporting bodies to make sure we do have those rules clearly, calmly and carefully laid out," he said. "We must also continue to treasure inclusion in our society."
Meanwhile, Wagga-based Nationals MLC Wes Fang agrees with Dr McGirr that the issue needs to be treated carefully.
"I think Joe's comments are sensible," Mr Fang said.
"It's something we do need to handle delicately because while those athletes who have transitioned are in all likelihood very likely strong mentally given what they have gone through, we need to remember there are kids dealing with those issues who aren't as strong mentally," he said.
"It's really unfortunate this has been turned into a political football, because both sides have started to use this as a wedge issue."
Mr Fang also stressed concern about fairness doesn't translate automatically to transphobia.
"You get an unfair performance enhancement from drugs and that has been addressed. I believe this is a similar issue," he said.
"So I do think there is a distinction between this issue and transphobia."
Wagga transgender athlete Holly Conroy agrees that fairness is important when it comes to sport.
"There is no question about that," Ms Conroy said.
"One of the fundamentals of sport is that it's fair and still competitive," she said.
Ms Conroy said she completely agrees with the Premier that young girls should play against young girls.
"Young trans girls are young girls," she said.
"What people are failing to realise with children is that until they go through puberty, boys and girls are the same. They are equal, there's no advantage."
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