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New Assistant Minister for Women says Premier ‘playing politics’ on women’s summit

Scott Emerson
Article image for New Assistant Minister for Women says Premier ‘playing politics’ on women’s summit

A suite of legislative and regulatory reforms will be adopted in an attempt to curb sexual harassment in the workplace, after the Federal Government adopted all recommendations from a landmark report.

The Respect At Work report laid out 55 recommendations, including making harassment a sackable offence, and including politicians and judges in the Sex Discrimination Act.

The Sex Discrimination Act will also ensure MPs and judges will be subject to sexual discrimination complaints to the Human Rights Commission, after being exempt for decades.

Newly appointed Assistant Minister for Women, Amanda Stoker, rejected the suggestion the government had failed to act on the report for 12 months.

“I think that most people just assumed the same rules apply in all workplaces, it’s a fair expectation,” she said.

“But in fact there were a number of groups that were excluded, one was state-based public servants another was judges, another one was MPs. Today we have taken the step of removing those exceptions.”

Yesterday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk called for a national women’s summit to address issues of gender inequality.

Later in the day, Federal Minister for Women’s Safety Anne Ruston announced a summit would be held in July.

Ms Stoker said there was “a lot of politicisation in this space”.

“I think the Premier has been a bit cheeky here, she has had a situation where Minister Ruston in the spirit of cooperation, informed her women’s safety ministers meeting about the proposal for a summit and the Premier has made an attempt to gazump.

“This is politics, what matters it that we get on with doing the right thing by vulnerable women.”

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Image: iStock

Scott Emerson
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