Independent Inquiry into the Safety of Parliamentary Staff

15 Mar 2021 speech

Ms FLINT (Boothby—Government Whip) (16:27): Over the past month we've heard a range of deeply distressing accounts from women across the political divide about appalling criminal behaviour and the failure
of this place to respond appropriately. I honestly don't believe there is a woman in any part of Parliament House who has not been deeply shock and moved by the accounts that we have heard. It's the responsibility of all of us as elected members and senators, men and women, to work together to make sure every single person who works in and around Parliament House is safe. That's why today I want to implore all current and former staff members of members and senators to please participate in the review that's underway. I want to implore all current and former members of the House of Representatives and senators to do the same and anyone else who thinks they have something to contribute to this critical review. The review is independent. It's being run by Australia's Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins, who has extensive experience in this area. It has been commissioned by our government in consultation with the Labor Party, with the presiding officers, with the minor parties and the Independents. The aim of the review is to ensure that all Commonwealth parliamentary workplaces are safe and respectful and that our national parliament reflects the best practice in the prevention and handling of bullying, sexual assault, sexual harassment and any other inappropriate behaviour. Ultimately, my message is: we all deserve to be safe in our place of work.