Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Liberal News

David Jones CEO is booted why not Buswell

David Jones CEO had to resign after inappropriate sexual conduct, so why not Buswell?

Premier Barnett has defended Treasurer Buswell despite his conduct over the last several years, including in the recent leaders debate

Because something is not prohibited or illegal at the time of the offence does not make it acceptable in the future.

The question for Premier Barnett is what has he done to strengthen the laws to make sure such conduct by Buswell is not acceptable and prohibited in the future, that is a responsibility of good government.

Sexual harassment in the workplace is very often described as a serious problem in the Australian workplace in various sections of the media and reports.

Statistics by the Human Rights Commission show that it is rarely a one off thing when it occurs.

The Buswell incident for example exposed a serious legislative oversight and a significant loophole in the Western Australia’s Equal Opportunity Act 1984.

This loophole omitted parliamentary staff from the operation and protection of workplace sexual harassment legislation.
The Buswell 'Chair Sniffing' episode highlighted the rumours of other incidents circulating, including one where Buswell chased the complainant around a parliamentary office on his hands and knees while acting as the complainant’s husband.
"In 2009 the complainant wrote to Buswell giving her version of events and asking a series of questions of him. When no response was received the complainant wrote to the Premier, Mr Barnett, about what the complainant considered was Mr Buswell’s refusal to take responsibility for his actions. Mr Barnett was dismissive and responded by saying ‘what happens in the workplace usually remains a matter between the people involved. As you stated, this is what you would have wished for’" (via J Wright)
It is not enough for Premier Barnett to defend Buswell he should be explaining what has been implemented to prevent such conduct from occurring again and what legal protections he has put in for workers, failing this he is simply condoning Buswell's behaviour.


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