In her first speech to Parliament, Emma Husar:
The decent working conditions of every single Australian are owed to the mighty trade union movement, and without your continued advocacy for workers and their families, our country would go backwards. Never stop fighting for fairness. I know, in this place and beyond, I will not.
For those of you who might struggle, who feel like things are stacked against you, I stand here as proof that we can come together.... That is why I am here.
We will put people first......that is exactly what I will do.
I think she's there for the free slave labour.
Brad Norington and The Australian have done a great job laying out claims by up to 20 former staff Ms Husar took them away from electorate office duties to:
- regularly mind her children,
- walk her dog,
- clean up dog excrement
- wash dishes; and
- one staffer allegedly had a “live-in” role performing domestic duties
Ms Husar said she was “horrified” to learn about the complaints. No staff member had raised them with her, and her office was a “professional and respectful workplace”.
While apologising if anyone thought otherwise, she said she was a “single mum with three children, working hard and doing my best”.
So far senior Labor ranks have closed ranks behind Ms Husar, fuelling suspicions among the complainants.
While Bill Shorten’s office has denied being aware of the allegations, and Anthony Albanese said he found Ms Husar a “terrific person to deal with”, former Labor senator Sam Dastyari said he had the “shits” about double standards when men regarded as tough in politics were “strong” but such women were “unhinged”.
Mr Dastyari, who is close to party secretary Ms Murnain and now works for Essential Media, a public relations company paid to advise the NSW ALP, praised Ms Husar’s “amazing story” as a victim of domestic violence. He said: “Single mother. That is tough, and she is as tough as nails, You kind of have to be if you had her life.”
Ms Husar has a decidedly empty register of declared interests.
..but no shortage of prominent friends to thank in the union movement, Emily's List and the usual list of suspects who'll back her:
to Unions NSW, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union, Communications, Electrical Plumbing Union, Transport Workers Union, Health Services Union, United Services Union, and the Australian Workers' Union. Mary Court, Mary Yaager, Mark Morey, Alex Claassens, Jim Metcher, Tony Sheldon, Gerard Hayes, Graeme Kelly, Russ Collison: without your support I would not be here. The decent working conditions of every single Australian are owed to the mighty trade union movement, and without your continued advocacy for workers and their families, our country would go backwards. Never stop fighting for fairness. I know, in this place and beyond, I will not.
Thank you also to EMILY's List for supporting me, and for the work you do in ensuring that women get elected to our parliaments. Our parliaments should reflect the people they represent, and you cannot do that without women. I have to admit though, and probably not unlike yourselves, I look forward to the day when EMILY's List is not needed, a time when women are treated equally and allowed to make their own health choices, when quotas are not necessary, and when women receive equal pay for equal work.
To my favourite New South Wales state members, particularly those I came to know during the 2015 state campaign: I may now be in a different parliament but rest assured, I will help wrestle Western Sydney back into the Labor fold, and I will do this because we know only Labor understands Western Sydney.
To our leader Bill Shorten—epic timing!—thank you for your leadership which was outstanding in arguing our case for a fairer Australia and putting people first, and for joining me more than once on the campaign trail. To my federal colleagues, Tanya Plibersek and the Chrises Bowen and Hayes, Tony Burke, Catherine King, Jason Clare, Sharon Bird, Justine Elliot, Ed Husic, Deb O'Neil and Sam Dastyari: thank you for your support throughout the campaign and for continuing that support following my arrival in this place.