Australian Greens Deputy Leader Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said that new behavioural codes of conduct developed by the Joint Select Committee on Parliamentary Standards, tabled today, will make parliament a safer place and set clear rules for behaviour in parliamentary workplaces.
Senator Faruqi is a member of the Joint Select Committee and participated actively in the inquiry.
Senator Faruqi said:
“These behavioural codes and standards will make parliament a safer place for everyone who works at and visits this place.
“I’m pleased that the report has acknowledged the intersections of discrimination that further marginalise First Nations people, people of colour, disabled people and LGBTQI+ communities, and the codes explicitly prohibit discrimination on these grounds.
“I have first hand experience of the damage that racism and sexism does to a person who doesn't belong to the ‘dominant norm’ of white men in suits. There will now be a clear and unambiguous recognition that this is unacceptable – and that perpetrators will face consequences for their actions.
“The evidence we heard from witnesses showed an overwhelming desire for strong and enforceable codes, not meaningless platitudes.
“I really want to thank the courageous staff – current and former – who have spoken out about the toxic culture of parliament and have paved the way for a safer, more respectful, inclusive and diverse parliament.
“The codes were agreed to by consensus. They are a strong expression of this parliament’s desire to do better. I look forward to their implementation.”
The report of the committee is available here.