Coalition calls for minimum standard training for APS Graduates
Joint media release with
Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development
24 October 2023
In the light of revelations of a demeaning “hotties list” allegedly created by graduates in a Federal Government Department, Senator Bridget McKenzie has called for compulsory, minimum and consistent training during the induction period of new Australian Public Service employees.
“I have today sought an assurance from the Australian Public Service Commissioner Dr Gordon de Brouwer and the Minister for the Public Service, Senator Katy Gallagher, that a minimum standard of training be introduced across the APS for all graduate intakes,” Senator McKenzie said.
“It is now clear there is currently no uniform standards for introducing new employees to the APS Code of Conduct in departments across the Australian Public Service.
“Graduates need to be fully cognisant with the APS Code of Conduct.”
Shadow Minister for the Public Service, Senator Jane Hume said that the Australian Public Service should be leading by example and ensuring there is a baseline level of training for new graduates in their obligations under the APS Code of Conduct.
“It is disappointing it has taken a cross examination in Senate estimates for the Government to admit they need to address the lack of uniformity across basic training for graduates, in response to this troubling incident. All Australians should feel safe in their workplaces and not be subject to instances of harassment,” Senator Hume said.
Senator McKenzie’s call comes in the light of revelations at Senate Estimates hearings of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee.
A cohort of a new graduate intake within the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications, and the Arts (DITRDCA) allegedly rated the appearance of female staff, according to evidence before the Senate Estimates hearings this week.
“All Australians deserve to be respected in their place of work,” Senator McKenzie said.
“Young people commencing a career should be welcomed into workplaces with high standards and professionalism and presented the opportunity to be their best, to shine and be respected for everything they can offer our country in public service and not their physical attractiveness.”