Wednesday, 23 June 2021
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) Investigation Arista by the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) found that:
(B) the discriminatory practices saw different standards applied to female and male applicants, with females selected in preference to the male applicants who had performed to a higher standard across entry assessments,
(C) some female applicants were approved for entry despite failing the cognitive, physical, or psychological assessment, and
(D) if the discriminatory practices had not been implemented, the CCC estimates 200 more meritorious male applicants who had passed the assessments would have been successful in joining the QPS, and
(ii) the use of discriminatory recruitment practices devalues the achievements of both females and males who achieve the required application standards; and
(b) further notes that:
(i) policies that discriminate based on gender are sexist,
(ii) policies that discriminate based on race are racist, and
(iii) judgements should only be made based on the merit of the individual and not other characteristics.
Australia is in a national domestic and family violence crisis, and yet stories of inadequate policing responses and terrible treatment of victims survivors persist. On at least two occasions already this year women in Queensland have been murdered after repeatedly seeking police help. There is a clear need to improve gender balance in organisations responding to DV incidents. The Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act and the federal Sex Discrimination Act confirm that affirmative action policies can be a legitimate way to address gender imbalance. However, as the most recent WGEA Gender equality insights 2021 report highlights, setting gender equality targets is not enough without cultural change to attract and retain women. Without genuine efforts to change the culture within the Queensland Police Service and give women confidence it is a workplace that will respect them and those who come to them for help, gender equality will not be achieved.
Recruitment arrangements are a matter for each individual organisation and employer to determine. The Morrison government maintains that workplaces are responsible for complying with relevant state and territory and Commonwealth laws in relation to recruitment and employment practices.