In the media

Code of conduct: Called for and delivered within six months

At the last election Australians made it clear they expect the highest standard of conduct from their elected representatives.

Member for North Sydney, Kylea Tink, was a member of the Joint Parliamentary Select Committee tasked with drafting and negotiating Codes of Conduct across party lines and for the entire parliamentary system with the ambition they would:

  • Clearly articulate behavioural expectations for all Parliamentarians and staff
  • Be binding, and,
  • If breached, would have consequences.

Today’s announcement in Parliament that the draft Codes of Conduct prepared by the Committee will be endorsed and adopted is a win for all who want to see politics done differently.

“As a member of the Committee which developed these draft Codes of Conduct, I’m incredibly proud to be able to say we delivered,” Ms Tink said.  

With a focus on standards of behaviour, the Codes now adopted include:

  •              Behaviour Standards for Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces
  •              Behaviour Codes for Parliamentarians
  •              Behaviour Codes for Parliamentary Staff

“Our Parliament has been trying to get Codes for almost half a century – with a report in 1975 noting a meaningful code of conduct should exist in the Australian Parliament. Since then, many members in this place have tried, and time and again failed to introduce one.”

“With over 4000 people working in Parliament House on any given sitting day, thousands more working across the country in electorates offices, and many more visiting parliamentary workplaces anyone working in or visiting a Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces must be safe.”

The proposed behaviour standards set clear expectations of upholding laws that support safe and respectful workplaces, including laws regarding bullying, harassment, sexual harassment or assault and discrimination in any form.

“Merely obeying the law will not be enough,” Ms Tink said.

Ms Tink strongly supports the recommendation to establish a confidential, independent and serious investigative body with an effective sanctions regime to drive long term cultural change. 

“The Committee set clear guidelines with a focus on respectful behaviour, encouraging diverse perspectives and recognizing the power and influence people within the environment have, ensuring not to abuse it,” she said.

“The people of North Sydney sent me to Canberra to help change the climate. This announcement today has brought us one step closer to that outcome.”

“Politics can be done differently, the past nine months has shown us that.”

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