Skip navigation

Speech: Equal Opportunity (Unlawful Acts in the Workplace) Amendment Bill

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: I thank those members who have made a contribution this evening and I offer some concluding remarks at this point of the debate. This is a very simple bill that could have a significant impact on workers and their workplaces. As I have explained, this bill would amend the Equal Opportunity Act in order to impose that positive duty on employers to eliminate discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation.

Every single person does deserve to be safe at work and employers do have a crucial role to play in creating that safe environment. I certainly do not want people being harassed in their workplace and I hope this sentiment is shared by all members of this parliament. I thank the Hon. Connie Bonaros for her thoughtful contribution this evening, and I also thank the Hon. Kyam Maher for his words.

The Hon. Rob Lucas raised points which I think are valid and are certainly worthy of consideration. What I would say is that in my negotiations on this bill with the government, this is the first time that those things have been raised with me or my office, so I find it very disappointing that, having worked and tried to collaborate with the Marshall government on this, we actually have to bring it on to a vote to find out what their true thoughts are on the bill. Indeed, we kept being asked, 'Just hold off. Just hold off. We might have some minor amendments. We have to take it to our party room and have a conversation.'

It was actually the internal politics and politicking of the Marshall government that seemed to be the priority in the debate on this bill, and not fleshing out what the real concerns were, if they are the real concerns. I am interested in what the Treasurer had to contribute tonight because it is the first time it has been raised in that way. I would have thought there would be an exchange of correspondence. Perhaps if he was so interested in it, his office could have taken part in those discussions that were taking place between my office and the Attorney-General's office, but they certainly to my knowledge had not been communicated thus far.

It was my intention tonight to take this to a vote and stop at clause 1 and it still is. I thought, given that in these discussions with the Attorney-General there seemed to be some minor amendments that might need to be made in the other place if it passed the council tonight, that perhaps we could come back on another week, and the Attorney-General or the Treasurer could make those minor amendments that they feel necessary known to the rest of the members of parliament rather than just their party room, or indeed perhaps just their cabinet, or indeed just one or two members of their party.

With that, I commend the bill to the council on this very important issue. I believe this is a conversation that should not languish without being progressed to a point where there is impetus for change, there is impetus for reform, and there is transparency about what true views are held by members of this parliament.

Continue Reading

Read More

Speech: Parliamentary Committees Bill

April 12, 2024

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: I rise to speak to the Parliamentary Committees Bill 2024, a bill that provides for the establishment of various parliamentary committees, defines the powers and duties of those committees, makes related amendments to various acts and repeals the Parliamentary Committees...

Read more