Workplace standards in parliament reviewed

An independent review into the workplace culture in Parliament House will be launched on Friday.
An independent review into the workplace culture in Parliament House will be launched on Friday.

An independent review into the workplace culture in Parliament House will be launched on Friday.

Leader of the Government in the Senate Simon Birmingham is set to outline the terms of reference and the review panel at a media conference in Adelaide.

The review comes in the wake of the alleged rape of ex-Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins in a minister's office in 2019 and a swathe of criticism about the treatment of women in political circles.

"Confidentiality of participation will be respected and it will be a thorough and sweeping approach," Senator Simon Birmingham told Sky in an interview on Friday ahead of the launch.

The review is tipped to be headed by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, who has already had a hand in drafting what the multi-party review should examine.

"Those issues are serious, we take them seriously, I am seeking to get the best possible result," Senator Birmingham said.

He is aiming for parliament to be a best practice example for the nation in the prevention of harassment, bullying, and sexual assault.

He wants to make sure incidents are reported and that support services in place.

Former staff and current staff, unions, and MPs across the political spectrum have been consulted "to shape what will be a comprehensive independent inquiry into the culture and practices in parliamentary workplaces".

Ms Higgins last month alleged she was raped in March 2019 and has now made a formal police complaint, saying Parliament House should be "the safest building in Australia".

Australian Associated Press