The South Australian MP whose sexual harassment complaint sparked a review into State Parliament’s workplace culture says she supports all recommendations made by its author.
- SA Best MLC Connie Bonaros was allegedly assaulted by another MP in 2019
- Her complaint led to a review of parliamentary culture that said sexual harassment was prevalent
- She says MPs should support all of the review’s recommendations
SA Best MLC Connie Bonaros has urged every other Member of Parliament to also support all recommendations made by the former acting Equal Opportunity Commissioner in her report handed down last week.
Ms Bonaros alleges Waite MP Sam Duluk slapped her on the bottom at a 2019 Christmas party.
He was banished from the Liberal Party and is now facing an assault charge in the Adelaide Magistrates Court.
A review of parliamentary behaviour was ordered last year following Ms Bonaros’s complaint.
Former acting commissioner Emily Strickland made 16 recommendations to address the problems, including training for MPs and staff, a new centralised parliamentary human resources division, and a code of conduct for MPs.
Hidden culture ‘beggars belief’
Ms Bonaros said the review made it clear Parliament needed to take responsibility for its outdated workplace culture.
“I’m really angry and I’m really saddened by the stories and the accounts that we’ve heard from the commissioner,” she said.
“It beggars belief that we’ve managed to sweep this under the carpet for as long as we have.
“If we can’t get it right, how on earth can we expect any other workplace to get it right?”She said a centralised human resources department was long overdue.
“The fact that any workplace doesn’t have an HR unit in place in line with what the commissioner has outlined is simply outdated,” she said.
“We are operating in an archaic, outdated system based on conventions of a bygone era.”
Ms Strickland found sexual harassment was prevalent in Parliament, with eight people reporting being victims of sexual harassment by MPs or their staff in the past five years.
More than a quarter of survey respondents reported they had experienced sexual harassment in the parliamentary workplace.
Deputy Labor leader Susan Close and Greens MLC Tammy Franks, both long-serving MPs, said the findings were upsetting but not surprising.