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Biggest Overhaul Of Parliamentary Oversight In Australia

28 May 2024

The Victorian Government is delivering the most significant overhaul of parliamentary oversight in the country, ensuring the highest standards of conduct and integrity of MPs, Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries.

The Labor Government will today introduce the Parliamentary Workplace Standards and Integrity Bill 2024 into the Victorian Parliament, supporting the establishment and operation of the Parliamentary Workplace Standards and Integrity Commission to investigate allegations of misconduct.

The Bill will also establish the existing Parliamentary Integrity Adviser in legislation and introduce a Parliamentary Ethics Committee to promote ethical practices by Members of Parliament.

The Commission will have a key role examining the behaviour of MPs – including bullying, harassment, sexual harassment and victimisation – delivering a crucial avenue for complaints to be heard and investigated through a proper process.

The model draws on the groundbreaking work of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Jenkins Report and allows the Commission to investigate the behaviour of MPs.

These reforms will ensure Victoria’s parliamentary system operates with the highest standards of accountability, conduct and integrity.

The Government has engaged extensively on the reforms with a broad range of stakeholders including MPs, parliamentary committees, integrity bodies and other experts and public offices across law, workplace standards, human rights, equal opportunity, and gender equality.

The Bill will implement seven recommendations from the IBAC and the Victorian Ombudsman’s July 2022 report into Operation Watts, as well as the 2021 review of the parliamentary workplace commissioned by the Presiding Officers.

The Victorian Budget 2024/25 invested $11.9 million to support the establishment and operations of the Commission.

Quotes attributable to Premier Jacinta Allan

“This is the most significant overhaul of parliamentary oversight in the country.”

“Everyone deserves the right to feel safe and respected at their workplace – it is simply not negotiable.

“With these reforms, we are held to the highest standards of conduct and integrity, because that’s what Victorians expect and deserve.”

Reviewed 28 May 2024

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