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Government and One Nation leave women unsafe by blocking amendments

Media Release
Larissa Waters 1 Sep 2021

The government and One Nation have blocked crucial amendments from the Greens and Labor that would have implemented the centrepiece of the Respect@Work recommendations - a positive duty on employers to make workplaces safe.

Greens deputy leader and spokesperson on women Senator Larissa Waters said:
“The PM, as always, is missing in action. It took more than a year for the government to respond to the Respect@Work report and the Bill they came up with fell woefully short - not only of the aims of the report, but also of the expectations of Australian women.

Respect@Work report set out a clear, holistic set of actions to address workplace sexual harassment. Central to that was a positive duty that would shift the onus away from individual workers who fear losing their job if they complain and instead require employers to make their workplaces safe.

“The government says existing workplace laws already do the job. The 40% of women who are sexually harassed at work say otherwise. All the young workers harassed in their first jobs say otherwise. 

“The Greens and Labor put forward a joint amendment to do what the government failed to do and introduce a positive duty. The government joined with One Nation to block them.

“The PM says he’s listening to women, and he says his government accepts all 55 recommendations of the Respect@Work report. Yet today the government again ignored women and blocked a key recommendation from the report.

“With the willing help of his One Nation lackeys, the PM has once again failed women.  

“It proves yet again that the PM views women as nothing more than a political problem to be managed, through spin and rhetoric.

“The government and One Nation had an opportunity today to show that they’re not reactionary troglodytes, but they only served to remind Australian women just how important it is to boot them out at the next election.”

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