South Australia's parliament has decided to remove gendered language from its rules of procedure. The change means that gendered pronouns like 'she' and 'he' will now be replaced with 'they' and 'them.'
The move follows recommendations from a review to shift towards gender-neutral language. In addition to changing pronouns, terms like "Her Majesty" and "His Excellency" have also been replaced with "the sovereign" and "the governor," respectively.
Furthermore, other changes have been made after the review, such as allowing maternity leave, breastfeeding infants in the chamber, and committees to meet electronically. Both the government and opposition have backed these changes, which are consistent with the federal government's content guidelines on gender and sexual diversity.
Michelle Lensink, the opposition spokeswoman, said that the Liberal Party supported the changes.
"It's important the parliament continues to represent all South Australians by reflecting community expectations, and the simplifying and updating of references now brings us in line with other jurisdictions across the country," she said. However, some politicians have criticised the move, calling it "wokeism."
Frank Pangallo, from the SA-Best party, said the changes were not necessary.
"I don't think (gendered pronouns) caused any harm or offence in our community. I think this is sort of the left elements in politics that are exerting themselves," he said.
Pangallo also argued that there were more important issues that the parliament should be focusing on.
Although the changes only apply to the Lower House, criticism has come from the Upper House crossbench.