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Politicians face losing pay for poor behaviour

Politicians who breach workplace safety standards could have their pay docked under a proposed body that will investigate alleged misconduct.

Apr 02, 2024, updated Apr 02, 2024
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese speaks during Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra, Monday, March 25, 2024. Photo: AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese speaks during Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra, Monday, March 25, 2024. Photo: AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Poorly behaved politicians could have their pay docked under a proposed body tasked with investigating alleged misconduct.

Public Service Minister Katy Gallagher said a draft for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Commission had been leaked but would impose sanctions on politicians found to be in breach.

“That’s the whole point of it,” she said on Tuesday.

“We’ve established the parliamentary workplace support service that does handle complaints … but this other body will be set up, and part of the whole purpose of this body is to look at complaints.

“And where complaints are substantiated, to implement sanctions against whoever that may be, whether it be an MP, senator or a staff member who works in this place (parliament).”

Former sex discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins’ 2021 report called for the commission, which would have the power to impose penalties for serious breaches of workplace safety including sexual assault and bullying.

The independent body is supposed to be up and running by October.

Asked about the delay in establishing the commission, Senator Gallagher said it was new and hadn’t been done before.

“We’re trying to get agreement across the parliament,” she said.

“We’re working really well with the opposition and with the crossbench on this.”

AAP

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