World News

NSW Parliament bullying report: Paper fines ‘unacceptable’ behaviour

The report, by former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, uncovered a toxic workplace of alleged sexual harassment and bullying.

Perrottet said MPs should be leading from the front on stamping out toxic work practices.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet described the findings of the state parliament bullying report as confronting. (Kate Geraghty )

“Clearly, we have a culture in the New South Wales Parliament that over time has become in many instances toxic and is wrong.

“If parliamentarians cannot lead and provide an environment where workplace is safe, what hope is there to have them for other workplaces across our great state?”

The premier thanked victims of bullying and harassment in parliament for coming forward and participating in the process.

“That would have been incredibly difficult for many and very challenging. But today they should know that their stories will create real change and have a lasting impact on people in our parliament and hopefully right across our state,” Perrottet said.

NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns
NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns described the report as sobering reading (pictured earlier in the week). (Kate Geraghty )

“That change cannot occur without people having the strength through adversity to come forward and tell the story and I, particularly as [premier] of the state, want to thank every single person who has participated as part of this review and had the courage to come forward to tell their stories so change can occur.”

Perrottet said he will be calling a meeting of his MPs to discuss findings of the report and also consult with his party’s staffers in Parliament.

He said the report had flagged “hot spots” of unacceptable behaviour.

“There are offices that have been identified as areas where these types of behaviour is more prominent. Well, it has to stop,” Perrottet said.

NSW State Parliament building stock file Macquarie Street Sydney
The workplace culture at NSW State Parliament has been described as toxic. (Louise Kennerley)

He said he had not received any advice that people would be facing criminal charges after the tabling of the report.

Echoing the premier, Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor urged MPs or staff engaging in unacceptable behaviour to seek counselling or leave their jobs.

NSW Opposition Leader Chris Minns described the report as “sobering reading”.

“It really paints a dark picture of what’s been happening in the New South Wales Parliament over an extended period of time.

“I want to make this point – I don’t think this is about partisanship. It’s my view that neither side, or any side in politics, comes to this issue with clean hands.

“We all need to do better, reach across the aisle, and make sure that we’re making every possible effort to make the New South Wales Parliament a safe workplace and have the opportunity of having more people involved in the political process,” Minns said.

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