Greens Senator Larissa Waters moved to bring on her Parliamentary Standards Bill this morning to address Parliament's appalling ineffectual complaints process for staff suffering workplace bullying and harassment.
The move follows the Morrison Government’s refusal to even acknowledge there is a problem, following Monday’s Four Corners investigation into sexual harassment within the Liberal Party.
Senator Waters, Greens Leader in the Senate and Spokesperson on Women, said:
"This is Parliament's Me Too moment.
"The existing complaints process is little known and far too weak, with no consequences for MPs or MOPS Act staff found to have breached the code.
“Instead of trying to silence the ABC and downplaying his ministers' behaviour, the Prime Minister must act decisively to fix Parliament's reporting processes so women feel encouraged to come forward, without fear of reprisal.
“The only people in Parliament facing repercussions for workplace harassment and bullying in this place are the complainants. We need to change that.
“Morrison is more interested in saving face than taking action, so the Greens have stepped up to ensure Parliament is a safe and respectful workplace for all women.
“The Greens Parliamentary Standards Bill would create an independent parliamentary standards commissioner to investigate complaints, and, where complaints are upheld, censure, fine, or suspend offending MPs from Parliament.
“We want women to know that if they come forward with allegations of workplace harassment and bullying here, they will be heard and there will be consequences.
"We are bringing this bill forward so the Prime Minister cannot continue to sweep these issues under the carpet."