Code of conduct ‘timely’

A code of conduct for state MPs is ‘timely and necessary’ according to Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell (pictured).

The Independent MP will join seven other South Australian MPs to determine a code of conduct for MPs as part of a joint parliamentary committee to address workplace harassment.

The establishment of the committee was prompted by the findings of an Equal Opportunity Commission review this month, which found that 27% of State Parliament staff had experienced sexual harassment at work.

Representing the cross bench, Mr Bell said the work of the committee was essential to restoring trust in the state’s Parliamentary institution.

“South Australia’s Parliament is a workplace just like any other across the state and everyone deserves to feel safe and respected at work,” he said.

“I have spoken out about the culture that is prevalent here in Parliament House and how I’d like to see that change.”

The committee will inquire into and report on the recommendations relevant to Parliament and discuss timelines for implementation, including a Code of Conduct for MPs.

Mr Bell said the code of conduct was timely, given the March for Justice events held around Australia last week.

“I walked in the March for Justice along with 8000 women, men and children in Adelaide’s main streets. It’s clear we need a cultural shift and people are asking for action on many levels,” he said.

“As legislators, I believe it’s our job to lead by example and that means ensuring our own house is in order.

“Other states already have a code of conduct for MPs and it’s been a subject of discussion for years and years here in South Australia.

“The committee’s job will be to ensure the proper structures are in place, including education and prevention strategies and reporting mechanisms that are supportive to staff and MPs.

“It is important that as a committee, we give serious consideration to these recommendations and act to implement them as soon as possible.”

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