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Tuesday, 5 November 1996
Page: 5094

Senator MARGETTS(5.12 p.m.) —I thank Senator Murray for his contribution, but he has probably given the best explanation of why our amendment is necessary. He gave the limits, if you like, to what is covered under the current discrimination clauses, but that does not actually cover harassment. You would have to actually prove that there was a discriminatory decision made, and harassment is not necessarily related to provable discriminatory incidents; harassment is something quite different. Currently, that does not include sexual harassment. Therefore, the fact that somebody has discriminated on the basis of someone's sex is quite different from sexual harassment in the workplace.

I guess there are certainly people who would be able to give clear evidence of what the difference is between discrimination based on sex and sexual harassment and harassment of other kinds. It is quite different. That is why I read out the definition of why they are different and that is why I still see that what exists does not cover sexual harassment and harassment of other kinds in the workplace. This amendment still deserves the support of the Senate because harassment is not covered in the current bill and it is not covered in the current amendments.

   Question put:

   That the amendment (Senator Margetts's ) be agreed to.