Australian radio presenter won’t face inquiry into sexual harassment allegations

An Australian radio presenter will not face an independent inquiry into sexual harassment allegations she made against a state senator. Two female lawmakers asked a Court of Appeal in South Australia to investigate the alleged comments by Liberal Party Senator Stephen Parry, who is accused of “aggressive, overt and coercive behavior” at a Labor Party conference. Parry dismissed the allegations as “bullshit.” One of the women seeking an inquiry, Sophie Mirabella, is a former member of parliament for the Liberal Party, who lost her seat after voters said she couldn’t match the negativity of Labor Leader Bill Shorten. The other woman, Tamsyn Parker, was former president of the South Australian branch of the Australian Sex Party. Parker is also a television presenter, and was the host of Melbourne’s gay radio station 2Xtra. She is seeking to investigate Parry’s conduct at the parliamentary party meeting in October 2014, according to Fairfax Media. Mirabella said she wants to establish whether women are treated as equals. “I’m more than a victim,” Mirabella said. “I’m also a survivor of bullying and harassment and this claim is about acknowledging that I am not the only one and that’s why I’m making this claim to be the best political force I can be, and do what I believe is right.”

According to the report, another Liberal Party lawmaker, Martin Hamilton-Smith, claimed that Parker was acting unethically in making the claims about Parry.

After consulting with the state government’s chief of staff, Premier Jay Weatherill agreed with Hamilton-Smith’s view, calling the allegations a “non-story.” Parry said he was not bothered by the decision, which came on the same day a corruption report from the ombudsman found no wrongdoing by him in relation to the affair.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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