‘Grunts’: shock accusation that a senator made dog noises while Jacqui Lambie spoke


A senator has been accused of growling and making dog noises while Jacqui Lambie spoke in parliament, just hours after the release of an explosive report on the building’s work culture.

Fiery scenes erupted during Question Time Tuesday when two senators rose to yell at the “inappropriate” behavior they claimed took place in a section of the chamber while Senator Lambie was on her feet.

Green Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, who was visibly outraged, said she wasn’t sure who was responsible, but “it happened.”

Green Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said it was
Camera iconGreen Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said it was “inappropriate.” Credit: Supplied

“I don’t think it is appropriate, given what has been broadcast today, to have grunts and dog noises coming from this side of the camera while a female member in this place is standing,” he said.

“It happened. I don’t know who is responsible, but it is inappropriate.

“And if we are going to change the culture and the top, that means all of us.”

Labor Sen. Penny Wong stood up to support Sen. Hanson-Young’s claim.

“I actually said who’s growling,” he said.

“And I would like to ask one of the senators on that end, maybe to do the right thing and walk away.

Green Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the culture had to change.
Camera iconGreen Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the culture had to change. Credit: Supplied

“At least confess. Wow, you’re tough, aren’t you … I mean, snarling?

Senate President Slade Brockman said he had not heard the growl in question, but if it happened, the senator responsible should stand down.

“I did not hear the particular incident that you have raised,” he said.

“If it did happen, I would ask the senator involved to reflect on it and to stand down if he did what has been said.”

The incident came just three hours after the publication of a damning report in the parliamentary workplace, which found that one in three people had suffered sexual harassment.

Hundreds of current and former employees were interviewed during the investigation by sex discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins, which was established after the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins.

Senator Lambie had been asking questions about the Tasmania housing crisis when the alleged incident occurred.

“The average Hobart tenant is paying almost a third of their income to keep a roof over their head and that’s on a good day,” he said.

Sen. Jacqui Lambie had been speaking about Tasmania's housing affordability crisis when she claimed that someone growled and made dog noises.
Camera iconSen. Jacqui Lambie had been speaking about Tasmania’s housing affordability crisis when she claimed that someone growled and made dog noises. Credit: Supplied

“We have people sleeping in their cars, families are camping in their friends’ living rooms while their government is conducting another investigation into housing affordability.”

Senator Simon Birmingham, who allegedly did not make the grunt, responded that the government had implemented various policies and investments to support access to housing across Australia.

Labor Sen. Penny Wong said she also heard the grunting.
Camera iconLabor Sen. Penny Wong said she also heard the grunting. Credit: Supplied

Senator Lambie went ahead with two more questions, infuriated that there are thousands of people on the waiting list for social housing.

“My staff is getting calls from people who are at their wits’ end,” he said.

“And we have to tell them that there is nothing we can do.

“The house is simply not there. His government has the finance minister, we have seen it through Covid.

“This is happening on your watch, you have the power to change this.

“Why isn’t he paying for the social housing that we know we need?”


www.perthnow.com.au

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.