Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, has said that today’s parliamentary endorsement of Behaviour Standards and Codes is a step forward in ensuring parliament is a safer, more respectful workplace that rejects discrimination.
Senator Faruqi is a member of the Joint Select Committee on Parliamentary Standards, which developed the Behaviour Standards and Codes and reported in November 2022.
Senator Faruqi said:
“I’m optimistic that this is a turning point for making parliament a safer, more respectful workplace that rejects discrimination.
“The codes will set an expectation of how we behave here. How this place changes for the better will depend on our commitment to changing culture. We must keep an eye on each other and call out unacceptable behaviour whenever and wherever it happens.
“The new codes explicitly prohibit discrimination on grounds that marginalise First Nations people, people of colour, disabled people and LGBTQI+ communities. There is now recognition that this is unacceptable – and that perpetrators will face consequences for their actions.
“I urge the government to quickly set up the investigative and enforcement mechanisms to give the codes power to make the change so desperately needed and to hold us accountable.
“The mandatory training recommended by the parliamentary standards committee, including on anti-racism, disability discrimination and First Nations cultural awareness, is crucial for challenging entrenched privilege and power. This work should be prioritised as well.”