Australia politics live news updates: federal parliament returns with religious discrimination bill up for debate


Morning all. When parliament sits at noon, the presiding officers in both chambers will deliver a statement of acknowledgement about deficiencies (to put the problem diplomatically) in the workplace culture at Parliament House.

This implements one of the recommendations of the Jenkins review. (Australia’s sex discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins ran an inquiry last year into workplace culture triggered by allegations raised by the former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins.)

Today’s statement is a public apology to people who have endured bullying, harassment or worse while working for the commonwealth. As well as the formal acknowledgment, today’s statement will outline next steps in reform.

After the presiding officers have delivered the statement, party leaders will speak. When I checked in with Higgins yesterday, she had not seen the wording of today’s statement.

As I reported yesterday on the blog, former staffers who have led the push for change are also disappointed that the closure of the building to the public will prevent them attending today’s statement. The government says provision will be made for some visitors.

(Tory here, rudely busting into Murphy’s piece – there is some chatter around this morning that the rude oversight will be rectified. I’ll let you know as soon as I do).


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