Senate debates

Tuesday, 11 May 2021


Archives and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021; Consideration of House of Representatives Message

6:10 pm

Photo of Murray WattMurray Watt (Queensland, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Northern Australia) Share this | Hansard source

Labor supports the amendment to the bill made in the House. Our staff deserve nothing less than a completely safe and supportive workplace. The Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces by Commissioner Kate Jenkins is going to be enormously important in changing the culture in this place. This bill is necessary to ensure that our staff can participate in that review and be assured that their privacy and confidentiality will be protected. Since the bill's passage in the Senate, further consultation has occurred with current and former staff, resulting in an additional protection being agreed to and passed in the House, in the form of this amendment. The amendment ensures that staff with current or historical complaints lodged with the Department of Finance are not prevented from accessing documentation about their complaint through the FOI process. The amendment does not erode the protections afforded by this bill to ensure the complete privacy and confidentiality of participants in the review. With the passing of the bill through the Senate today, I hope that Commissioner Jenkins will move swiftly to open submissions so that we can begin the process of long-overdue reform.


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