Politics

Richard Di Natale Got Kicked Out Of Parliament For Calling Out A Senator’s Slut-Shaming

The slut-shaming Senator got to stay, of course.

Richard Di Natale, Barry O'Sullivan

Greens leader Richard Di Natale was suspended from Parliament yesterday after he labelled LNP Senator Barry O’Sullivan a “pig” over grossly sexist comments O’Sullivan made about Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Speaking in the Senate yesterday afternoon, O’Sullivan was accusing Hanson-Young of failing to show up to important committee hearings, and compared her to former Senator Nick Xenophon.

“There’s a bit of Nick Xenophon in her — and I don’t mean that to be a double reference — but there’s a bit of Xenophon in her, references com­mit­tees and not ­attending,” he told the Senate.

Hanson-Young’s leader, Di Natale, immediately leapt to her defence, describing O’Sullivan as a “pig” and calling the comments “sexist filth”.

O’Sullivan eventually withdrew his comments, but Di Natale refused to, and was therefore suspended from the Senate.

Speaking outside the Senate, the Greens leader described O’Sullivan’s comments as part of a “pattern of behaviour” from the government.

“For months my female colleagues have had to sit there while sexist filth has been thrown in their direction. I made it very clear today that I was going to take a stand on behalf of them” he said.

Speaking to the ABC this morning, the government’s leader in the Senate, Matthias Cormann, said O’Sullivan’s comments were “inappropriate” but denied the government has a problem with women.

“We’re working very hard to select high-quality women right across Australia for the next election”, he said.

Parliament’s Toxic Environment

It came on the same day that Julia Banks quit the Liberal party to sit as an independent, citing in part the Liberal party’s toxic attitudes towards women.

Banks told Parliament the Liberal party’s treatment of women was “years behind” the business community.

“Equal representation of men and women in this Parliament is an urgent imperative that will create a culture change,” she said. “There’s the blinkered rejection of quotas and support of the merit myth, but this is more than a numbers game.”

Also yesterday, Labor MP Emma Husar — who said she would not seek re-election next year after she was accused of sexual harassment in August — announced yesterday that she wanted to remain in Parliament, decrying the allegations against her as purely political in nature.

She blamed a “few bad seeds” for her demise and threatened to run as an independent if she cannot run for Labor.

“I never joined politics to play the game of politics; I’ve always wanted to stand up for my community and fight for my community. We saw some of the darker elements of the NSW [Labor] branch potentially at play here.”