‘I have experienced some appalling behaviour’: Julie Bishop breaks her silence

JULIE Bishop has spoken for the first time since resigning front the frontbench as foreign minister.

Speaking at the Australian Women’s Weekly Women of the Future awards last night, Ms Bishop blasted the “appalling behaviour” in Canberra that led to the ousting of Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister.

Ms Bishop said the events wouldn’t be tolerated in any other workplace and called for a much broader debate about workplace culture, including allegations of bullying, harassment and coercion, and the unequal treatment of women.


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The former foreign minister and most powerful woman in Australian politics said there was “a lot to be done” when it comes to female representation within the Liberal party.

Here’s a little of what she had to say:

“I say to my party, it is not acceptable for us to have in 2018 to have less than 25 per cent of our parliamentarians as female,” Ms Bishop said.

“It’s not acceptable for our party to contribute to the fall in Australia’s ratings from 15th in the world in terms of female parliamentary representation in 1999 to 50th today. There’s a lot to be done.

“Our party, in fact all parties, recognise they have a problem in attracting and maintaining women, diversity in general.

“When a feisty, amazing woman like Julia Banks says this environment is not for me, don’t say ‘toughen up princess’, say ‘enough is enough’.

“Politics is robust, the very nature of it, it’s not for the faint hearted.

“I have seen and witnessed and experienced some appalling behaviour in Parliament, the kind of behaviour that 20 years ago when I was managing partner of a law firm of 200 employees I would never have accepted.

“Yet in Parliament it’s the norm.

“We must defend and strengthen our institutions, and we must treat our Parliament with more respect. Unacceptable workplace practices are the responsibility of us all to identify, to stop it, to fix it.”

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