South Australian Parliament Workplace

16 Mar 2021


That this house—

1. Commits itself to leading cultural change within the parliamentary workplace;

2. Welcomes the recommendations made in the Equal Opportunity Commission's Review of Harassment in the South Australian Parliament Workplace;

3. Declares that sexual and discriminatory harassment will not be tolerated in the parliamentary workplace; and

4. Takes the necessary action to implement Our Watch's Workplace Equality and Respect Standards.

The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart—Minister for Energy and Mining) (12:07): I certainly rise to support this motion. We have had a very productive morning in parliament this morning in regard to getting work underway. It is not until that work is done and implemented and we actually see real change that we can be any more than satisfied with having started down that path, but we certainly have started down that path this morning and in a bipartisan way as well.

This motion from the member for Reynell probably best encapsulates, to my mind, what we have jointly as members of this chamber embarked upon today. I certainly support this motion. The member for Reynell and I have worked together on a lot of these types of issues. In fact, together we established Parliamentarians United Against Domestic Violence a few years ago. We were extremely pleased to have all members of parliament at the time, and subsequent members who have come in, sign up for that.

I am very pleased with regard to the work that is already underway throughout government with regard to departments being White Ribbon accredited. One of the key things about White Ribbon accreditation is that it is not just about signing up, getting a tag and coming back next year to see if you are still good enough. White Ribbon accreditation is actually about living the values and delivering and implementing them every hour of the day, every day of the year.

To see more and more state government departments over recent years gain White Ribbon accreditation I think is outstanding and reflects extremely well not only on the government and on the leaders of those departments but also, most importantly, on the people who work in those departments, because if the people who work in those departments do not actually deliver and act on the values associated with that White Ribbon accreditation then it ceases to exist. You do not get accredited for a year or five years and, 'Good, you've passed the test,' so you are assumed to be okay: it is a living, ongoing matter.

There is a lot of work to do. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind and no doubt in the minds of my colleagues that, while we have been progressing in South Australia in these areas for many years now, the progress has not been fast enough and it has not delivered enough yet. So the united effort of all members of this chamber—and I am very optimistic with respect to the members of the other place as well—to come together to speed up the transition to achieve more, to get us to where we need to be as a state, but in this particular situation with regard to our house of parliament leading by example for the rest of the state, is a very important step forward.

I endorse the words of those speakers who have gone before me. I strongly support this motion and say again that this motion encapsulates very well a lot of the commitments that we have made together this morning and the work that is already underway throughout government and throughout the state.