Gendered Violence Prevention

In Parliament, Motions

Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. C. Bonaros:

That this council—

1. Acknowledges the thousands of people who attended the March 4 Justice in South Australia on 15 March 2021;

2. Condemns all forms of gendered violence;

3. Calls for an end to gendered violence in all workplaces, including in our parliaments;

4. Calls for the full implementation of all 16 recommendations made in the Equal Opportunity Commission’s Review of Harassment in the South Australian Parliament Workplace;

5. Calls for a review of the way that sexual assault crimes are reported, investigated and prosecuted in South Australia;

6. Calls for fully independent investigations into all cases of gendered violence and timely referrals to appropriate authorities with full public accountability for findings;

7. Calls for the full implementation of the 55 recommendations in the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect@Work report of the National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces 2020;

8. Calls upon the state government to increase funding for gendered violence prevention to world’s best practice; and

9. Calls upon the state government to enact gender equality legislation to promote gender equality.

(Continued from 17 March 2021.)

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (17:47): I rise to briefly speak in support of this motion. I have spoken on a few similar motions and also moved ones myself in this place in recent times, and of course I have introduced a bill to impose a positive duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination. The Greens always have and always will condemn all forms of gendered violence, discrimination and harassment, and we stand by the calls of this motion for an end to gendered violence in all workplaces, especially this one.

I want to take this moment to commend all those who marched in the March 4 Justice rally in March this year, who stood against sexual harassment and assault, and who stood together regardless of political affiliation or walk of life. They stood against that harassment not just in politics but in all areas of our lives. I am, and so many others are too, absolutely sick and tired of having to have this fight. How many more will be hurt and have that hurt publicly picked apart before we change?

Our collective anger runs deep—not just present in our lives now but back through generations, through the halls of this place and through other unsafe workplaces, back through our homes and our community spaces. We are done being silent on this issue. We are sick of it getting swept under the rug. We have had report after report outlining in excruciating detail the harassment and abuse that women are being subjected to, and the lack of meaningful action continues to stoke our collective rage.

So, in particular, I wish to highlight paragraph 5 of this motion, calling for a review of the way that sexual harassment crimes are reported, investigated and prosecuted in our nation. This is of utmost importance. We know that so many sexual assaults are never reported, and fewer still even prosecuted. We have heard time and again how hard it is to get justice following a sexual assault. It is well past time we fixed our laws to ensure justice and compassion for survivors.

I note as well the call for the implementation of all the recommendations, both from the Equal Opportunity Commission’s Review of Harassment in the South Australian Parliament Workplace and from the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect@Work report of the National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces. I think we have had a few such calls already in this place and certainly in other parliaments.

However, given the delays in even getting together a meeting of the committee that we have entrusted in this workplace with implementing those recommendations and reporting on our workplace, it seems clear to me that those commitments are not necessarily ones that will be heeded without reminders, such as, yet again, this motion.

It is time for all in this parliament and for the Marshall government to get on with it. I note that there are several of us in this council who will keep reminding all leaders of all parties in this parliament of their obligations, of their promises and of their duty to ensure that we have eradicated gendered violence in our community and in our workplaces.

The Greens will keep reminding them and committing this parliament to ending harassment and discrimination in this and every workplace, because these issues are not going away until we take serious action. And, by the way, the Greens are not going away any time soon, so we will be here to remind you until we get this job done.