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Sex Discrimination Commissioner calls for swift action to address harassment and bullying in NSW Parliament

Discrimination Sex Discrimination

Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins has welcomed the release today of a report into sexual harassment, sexual assault and bullying in the New South Wales Parliament.

The report details the findings of a review of the NSW Parliament’s workplace culture undertaken by Elizabeth Broderick & Co.

It follows a landmark investigation last year by Commissioner Jenkins into the workplace culture in Australia’s Federal Parliament.

Commissioner Jenkins said, “The findings of this report are concerning. Parliaments are leading workplaces and should set the standard.

“It’s important that the NSW Parliament committed to undertaking this review and it’s vital that it now acts swiftly to implement the recommendations in the report.

Commissioner Jenkins said Australia is at a turning point in relation to sexual harassment, sexual assault and bullying in our workplaces.

“It’s encouraging to see so many industries embracing the lessons of the recent Respect@Work inquiry and taking action to address sexual harassment. This includes the mining, legal, retail, sport, university, media and entertainment sectors. Parliaments now need to do the same.

“I was privileged to lead the review of the Australian Parliament’s workplace culture last year and I welcome the acceptance by the Commonwealth of my recommendations and the action that is being taken to address the issues that were identified.

“We know from this inquiry that issues of sexual harassment, sexual assault and bullying are prevalent in parliaments across the world, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Scotland, and New Zealand.

“I note that similar reviews of parliamentary workplace culture have also been undertaken in South Australia and Tasmania. I would encourage all other states and territories to follow suit as this is an issue that needs to be addressed across our nation.”

Media contact: media@humanrights.gov.au or 0457 281 897.