House debates

Thursday, 18 March 2021

Statements by Members

Women's Safety

1:51 pm

Photo of Susan TemplemanSusan Templeman (Macquarie, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

You can't fix what you don't talk about, so I'll talk about what my team, my family and I deal with. There are the Facebook comments, daily and derogatory, about personal attributes, not policy. I know I'm not alone, which is why I offered a social media self-defence for women online workshop just last week with the eSafety Commission. Of course, there's more. There have been the obscenely defaced campaign posters in every one of my four election campaigns and the attacks on my office windows. There are also the threats of violence and death—sometimes direct, sometimes veiled—targeted at me, my family or my staff. They can come via Facebook or Twitter, via email or in an anonymous letter. Occasionally, the threat's in person. No-one should face this—not in any work environment.

I want to thank the Australian Federal Police and the New South Wales police, especially my local Hawkesbury Police Area Command, who respond so fast to my staff's calls of distress, and Springwood police and the New South Wales Fixated Persons Investigations Unit for their role in two recent court cases aimed at protecting my safety and the safety of some of my local colleagues. They have done an amazing job over a long period of time. These things shouldn't happen—not to me, not to my staff, not to my family and not to anyone.