House debates

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Statements by Members

Parliament House: Work Health and Safety

1:46 pm

Photo of Katie AllenKatie Allen (Higgins, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

All of us in this place understand that parliament is a high-stress, high-pressure and often unconventional workplace. Unfortunately, this results in behaviours no-one should tolerate or find acceptable. The bottom line is that we need to do better at keeping everyone in this workplace safe. Both sides of the aisle want to attract the best and brightest from across Australia to work here at the heart of our democracy and ensure a broad representation of personalities and views. We want the women and men of parliament to be proud of the way in which they serve their country. This can only be achieved by ensuring a safe and professional workplace that matches the best practices of any other workplace in Australia.

That is why I call for more formal occupational health and safety training for parliamentarians and their staff. Simply learning on the job is not good enough when it comes to recognising and addressing complex issues like mental health or sexual assault. We cannot expect everyone to have a perfect skill set when they arrive in this place, but we can expect that they will be provided with a proper opportunity to learn. We expect every Australian workplace to be safe and professional. Parliament must hold itself to the same standard. Australians deserve no less.