Husar cleared of most serious allegations

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Emma Husar

An internal Labor Party investigation has found there is no basis for Emma Husar to resign from Parliament.

John Whelan’s report has been finalised today and finds that allegations of lewd conduct in Ms Husar’s Lindsay electorate office were not supported.

Ms Husar has also been cleared of allegations of sexual harassment.

The report says allegations of misuse of public entitlements should be referred to the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA) for audit. However, Ms Husar has already self-referred these issues.

Whelan said complaints that Ms Husar had subjected staff members “to unreasonable management, including unreasonable communication, demands, practices and disciplinary methods” did have merit.

The full investigation report will not be released to protect those who spoke to the inquiry under the promise of confidentiality.

Earlier this week, Ms Husar said she would not re-contest the seat of Lindsay at the next election.

“I’m going on my own terms: I will continue to give my best for the wonderful community of Lindsay; I will fight to clear my name from the unbelievable mud that’s been thrown at it; I will continue to advocate on behalf of the people who elected me, who rely on a fair go for all,” she said.

Ms Husar welcomed the findings in a statement this afternoon.

“I note the report has cleared me of the most malicious and damaging of allegations, which were not only baseless but leaked to media,” she said.

“Having only seen the summary findings in the form of a media statement, I don’t believe any of these should have cost me my reputation, my job, or humiliated me and my children.

“I have acknowledged the difficulties I faced in establishing a new office, despite requesting assistance. I have always been and remain willing to take guidance and help. I will take some time before returning to work to do this.

“I’ve always maintained that anyone has the right to have their complaints heard in the proper forum. Instead this has been trial by media, gossip and innuendo.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said this afternoon that many unanswered questions remain.

“I understand that this New South Wales Labor Party inquiry has made some findings that will now and should be referred to the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority to be considered in the appropriate way,” he said.

“Any issues of workplace harassment or bullying should also be dealt with by the Department of Finance, and again there is an independent process there within the Department of Finance.

“But the real question is when did Bill Shorten know about this? If you accept what he says he was the last person in the Labor Party to know what was going on.

Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: Megan Dunn

“How can somebody who claims to have been a defender of workers’ rights not be aware of what was going on at a time when others in the Labor Party leadership group knew about it, at the time when the New South Wales Labor Party had got a barrister to conduct an inquiry.

“Bill Shorten needs to tell us what he knew and when he knew it and what he did about it because at this stage his explanations are not believable.”

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