I am disappointed it has taken so many months for the investigation into Catherine Marriott’s complaint to be finalised.
The fact there has been no real finding after all this time will no doubt act as a deterrent for anyone else with genuine complaints to come forward in future.
I can only speak on behalf of the West Australian branch of The Nationals but we take such matters extremely seriously. People need to feel confident that if they present a genuine complaint that it will be dealt with in a transparent and timely manner.
After receiving the initial complaint and referring it to the Federal Secretariat, The Nationals WA State Executive examined its own internal processes for dealing with any future complaints. We immediately started work on a process for anyone seeking to raise an issue or situation that has placed them in a position of any form of discomfort, whether that be emotionally, mentally or physically.
This process has recently been endorsed by our State Council and includes the appointment of an independent third party to manage the complaints in a confidential manner.
These are difficult issues to deal with when they arise, but our organisation in Western Australia recognises that we must have appropriate and robust process in place.
At a time where the culture and behaviour of those involved in politics is under justifiable scrutiny it is incumbent on all of us to work harder to ensure our organisations are respectful and safe places to work, and that we set the best example possible at all times.