House debates

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Statements by Members

Members of Parliament: Staff

1:42 pm

Photo of Adam BandtAdam Bandt (Melbourne, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

You don't need to consult your wife to know that women are human beings. You don't need to have daughters to know that women who have been raped should be listened to, believed and supported. Women aren't finding themselves in vulnerable situations; men are putting them there. This has been a dreadful week for parliament. This building is the home of our democracy. It should not just meet a minimum standard of behaviour that we expect in other workplaces, it should be a shining example. But, as we heard from Brittany Higgins this week, Parliament House is a house of shame. Disturbingly, over this week the account of the Prime Minister and the account of Ms Higgins have diverged significantly. It doesn't add up and it's starting to look like a cover-up by the government. There has to be an independent investigation into who knew what, and when, in the Prime Minister's office and in the government. A review by the Prime Minister's own department is not good enough. The investigation must be at arm's length. It must answer the question of whether the Prime Minister's office really knew nothing for the best part of two years. There also has to be an independent body for staff in this building to take complaints to—and I'm pleased there's action on that front—and there has to be an independent review of the culture in this building. But, most of all, the public need to know that this terrible incident has been handled properly.


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