Parliament Updates

Zali Steggall MP responds to the Foster Review (Review of the Parliamentary Workplace: Responding to Serious Incidents)

28 July, 2021

Zali Steggall welcomes the Government’s acceptance of the Foster Review Recommendations but hope Jenkins’ will go further

Zali Steggall Independent MP for Warringah is pleased that the Government has accepted all of the recommendations from the Foster Review into the Parliamentary workplace.

Ms Steggall said “she is encouraged that the Morrison Government have made it mandatory for Coalition members and staff to attend face to face training sessions on sexual harassment and discrimination and that there will be a public interest disclosure of other Parliamentarians who attend the training. I would urge the Government to increase the amount of sessions or training time required though, one session of one hour is hardly enough.”

Ms Steggall remains concerned however that the human resources and workplace health and safety remains with existing bodies who have proven ineffective to date. Ms Steggall said “I have raised concerns that the Foster Review does not go far enough in its reform of governance and management processes. Whilst I welcome the focus on these issues, I hope the Jenkins review will go further to create a more lasting reform of the system and generate true change.

“I acknowledge that the scope of this review did not extend to legislative change of the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act, however, I believe that this legislation lies at the heart of many of the problems in the current system and needs reform.

“We also need a to improve as a matter of urgency standards of integrity across the board for Members of Parliament through a Statement of Parliamentary Standards or Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament and Standards for all Parliamentary Staff, not just for Ministers and those in their offices.”