PM Morrison to act on Higgins' reforms
Scott Morrison says proposals put forward by former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins will be invaluable in reforming workplace culture in Parliament House.
Ms Higgins met separately with the prime minister and Labor leader Anthony Albanese in Sydney on Friday.
A decision by Ms Higgins to go public about her alleged rape in a ministerial office sparked national rallies about the mistreatment of women and an independent review into parliamentary workplaces.
Mr Morrison said in a statement Ms Higgins' views and experience would be invaluable in reforming the parliamentary workplace.
"I am committed to achieving an independent process to deal with these difficult issues," he said.
The prime minister also personally thanked Ms Higgins for her service to the government.
"As I told parliament, whether it's members, senators, or our staff, we all want to make a contribution to our country and we should be able to do that in a safe environment for everyone."
Ms Higgins told reporters Mr Morrison he had acknowledged the system let her down.
"It was a difficult conversation, it was robust, but ultimately, in the end, I think there was a consensus that reform needs to happen," she said.
The talks centred on reform of the Members of Parliament Staff (MOPS) Act, which Ms Higgins says does not offer adequate workplace protections and conditions for staffers.
She said there was also a "robust discussion" about the need for an independent authority to deal with human resource issues in parliamentary workplaces.
"I am hopeful that it will (change) and he is going to do the right thing by the women here."
Earlier, she said the meeting with Mr Albanese had been constructive.
The federal opposition leader told reporters Ms Higgins' reform ideas were "modest and reasonable".
"She has shown extraordinary courage in coming forward - to be a voice standing up for women, standing up for issues that need real solutions," Mr Albanese said.
Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins has been tasked with reviewing parliamentary workplaces, including the operation of the MOPS Act.
After taking evidence and submissions, she is expected to provide an interim report in July and final recommendations in November.
© AAP 2021