Feb 2021

Katter joins crossbench call for urgent review of APH workplace

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FOLLOWING revelations this week that a Liberal MP’s junior staffer was sexually assaulted in Parliament House in 2019, MP Bob Katter has thrown his full support behind the crossbench that an urgent review into workplace procedures in the Australian Parliament take place.

In an official letter submitted to the Prime Minister, President of the Senate, Opposition Leader and Speaker of the House today, Mr Katter and his fellow crossbenchers requested a formal and urgent independent, external review of how workplace grievances and complaints are dealt with at the Australian Parliament House.

Mr Katter condemned the behaviours citing President Clinton’s case as a common occurrence in Australian politics.

“I thought that one of the most reprehensible people in modern public affairs was the United States President Clinton,” he said.

“To use the power of influence and status of your position and use that to take advantage of a little 20-year-old intern or staffer, is despicable conduct.

“In the Clinton case, he destroyed that young woman’s life without any apologies or effort to protect her at any stage and that has been repeated on many occasions by low life’s in the federal and state parliaments throughout Australia.”
Mr Katter said that while some relationships in Parliament House are consensual, genuine and based on love, the system had to set the bar higher for a Member of Parliament.

“I would not doubt for a moment that women, and sometimes men are preyed upon. At least one case where a male Member of Parliament was forcing his attentions upon a male staffer was the subject of a court case.

“Whether the bar should be higher for a Member of Parliament - for what it is worth, I think it should.

“In spite of whether people are away from home, shoulder to shoulder with staff, I agree with my fellow crossbenchers that at the present moment, careers will be destroyed completely if you have the temerity to register a complaint.

“It is a very grave danger that inappropriate complaints are made where people have failed to do their job and exercise their responsibilities.

“But I have got to say that on occasion, people do fall in love whether inappropriately or appropriately. So, the system has also got to allow for the fact that – regardless of whether I think it is appropriate or inappropriate – they actually do fall in love,” he said.

Contact Details

P: (07) 4061 6066
F: (07) 4061 6566
Visit: Cnr Edith and Owen St
Post: PO Box 1638
Innisfail, Qld 4860

Mount Isa
P: (07) 4743 3534
F: (07) 4743 0189
Visit: 42-44 Simpson St
Post: PO Box 2130
Mount Isa, Qld 4825

(when Parliament is sitting)
P: (02) 6277 4978
F: (02) 6277 8558

Local Call within the electorate
P: 1300 301 942

Email: Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au