Queensland Premier silent on misconduct allegation

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The Queensland premier said she could not detail the complaints of sexual misconduct and bullying involving ministerial offices which are currently under investigation.

Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministry was investigating two cases but declined to detail the nature of the complaints.

“I can’t go into who they were, but I can say that neither was (in) relationship to sexual assault and both are being reviewed independently by the department,” he said. she told reporters on Thursday.

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The cases have surfaced amid intense media scrutiny of how state and federal governments are dealing with sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the wake of Brittany Higgins’ rape allegations.

Nine News and Seven have obtained new figures showing Queensland officials face sexual misconduct and bullying on a daily basis, but disciplinary action is rare.

Officials have reportedly filed more than 140 complaints of inappropriate sexual conduct in the past fiscal year.

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In response to these complaints, 21 workers were suspended, one was suspended without pay and six employees were dismissed.

On Thursday, the premier announced she would appoint a new equity officer to oversee complaints of bullying and sexual misconduct in the public service.

She said the statistics were kind of good news, as the numbers showed officials were willing to report suspected misconduct.

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“The good news is people are reporting,” the prime minister said, while again demanding a national summit to address gender inequality and sexual harassment in the workplace.

“What worries me is that there could be thousands of women in other workplaces who don’t report.”

“Once again, these are issues that I believe should be addressed at a national women’s summit.”

-AAP

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