The Department of Home Affairs is a diverse and complex workforce that for many years, has been plagued by cultural issues.

The issues and statistics reported today are deeply concerning, but not surprising.

Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members from right across the Department have been working for years to raise and address issues that were allowed to fester and grow under former leadership. They were largely ignored or silenced.

Our members are relieved to see new leadership no longer turning a blind eye to the issues that plague their workplaces and compromise their safety.

All employees deserve to feel safe and respected at work, and all employers have a duty to ensure that is the case.

Many of these employees work in challenging, remote and isolated circumstances. Moving forward, they need to be confident that they will be supported when raising and dealing with workplace issues, including inappropriate behaviour and workplace sexual harassment.

The Department of Home Affairs has done the right thing in engaging the Australian Human Rights Commission and Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Anna Cody, to proactively investigate these issues in Home Affairs workplaces.

The union understands that this investigation is the first of many that will occur as the Department of Home Affairs works to address deeply entrenched cultural issues.

As more of these investigations are undertaken and further issues come to light, the CPSU is calling on the Department to proactively engage with the union to ensure reforms are effective, comprehensive, robust and properly implemented.

24th April 2024

All comments can be attributed Melissa Donnelly, CPSU National Secretary.