Female Kickboxer claims sex discrimination

The Federal Court of Australia will tomorrow hear the application by Ms Holly Ferneley against the Boxing Authority of NSW and the State of NSW for unlawful sex discrimination.

Ms Ferneley is a professional kickboxer and a resident of New South Wales. In June 2001 Ms Ferneley applied to the Boxing Authority to be registered as a kickboxer. Individuals must be registered to box or kickbox legally in NSW. The Boxing Authority refused her application on the grounds that only men can apply to be kickboxers in NSW. Section 8(1) of the Boxing and Wrestling Control Act NSW, the act that establishes the Authority, states that only a male may apply to be registered with the Boxing Authority as a boxer or kickboxer in NSW.

Ms Ferneley will argue that s.8 of the NSW act, the Boxing and Wrestling Control Act, is discriminatory and therefore inconsistent with the Commonwealth act, the Sex Discrimination Act. If Ms Ferneley is successful in her argument then s.8 will be held to be invalid.

The case will be heard by Justice Wilcox at 10.15 am on Thursday, 8 November 2001 at the Federal Court, Law Courts Building, Queen’s Square, Sydney.

MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic O’Grady, Media and Communications Officer,
Public Interest Advocacy Centre. Ph: 02 8898 6532 or 0400 110 169

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