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Correcting the record: response to Noel Towell's article in the Canberra Times



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Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT MINISTER FOR WOMEN

MINISTER ASSISTING THE PRIME MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE SENATOR FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA

MEDIA RELEASE

10 March 2016

CORRECTING THE RECORD

RESPONSE TO NOEL TOWELL’S ARTICLE IN THE CANBERRA TIMES

Letter submitted but not published by the Canberra Times in response to an inaccurate story published 9th March 2016.

T

he story by Noel Towell “Public servants lose domestic violence leave” (9 March) is not only factually wrong, it is highly reckless and offensive.

T he entire story is based on a false premise that the Public Service Commission had issued “orders” for

existing domestic violence leave entitlements to be “stripped”. This is simply false. The Commission has issued no such “order” or any other instruction of this kind.

Publi c Servants will retain the ability to take leave where this is necessary in relation to an instance of

domestic violence. This includes both entitlements under existing enterprise agreements that allow for leave to be taken, plus any entitlements under separate policies that apply to particular departments or agencies.

It is therefore highly inaccurate and dishonest to claim that “domestic violence leave has been stripped out of workplace agreements across the Commonwealth public service”.

I t is even more dishonest to claim that departments “are insisting on removing the right of their workers to take time off if they are the victims of family violence.” No public service agency has proposed any new ag

reement or arrangement that would remove the ability for workers to access leave following an incident of domestic violence.

T he author, Mr Towell, was advised by my office prior to publication that the claims he intended to make were factually incorrect.

T his reporting is not only inaccurate and dishonest, it appears deliberately intended to create baseless alarm

and distress in relation to an issue that should be approached with sensitivity and respect. Mr Towell and the CPSU should know better than to attempt to falsely create fear on an issue such as this.

Senator Michaelia Cash Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service

Media contacts Office of Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash: (02) 6277 7320 / David De Garis 0427 019 692; Brooke Vitnell 0447 743 835.