Liberals call for MP drug, booze testing

Liberal MPs have called for drug and alcohol testing to be introduced at Parliament House in a bid to stamp out the "problematic" behaviour of colleagues and staffers.

Member for Higgins Katie Allen said the alcohol culture at the workplace needed to change.

"I've heard people talking about how they drink because it helps them to stay up at night," Ms Allen told ABC's Insiders program on Sunday.

"I sat in an emergency department as a young doctor, through the hours trying to stay awake, having a drink isn't what you do.

"We are making important decisions on behalf of the society."

Higgins MP Katie Allen said she ‘absolutely’ supported alcohol and drug testing of MPs.
Higgins MP Katie Allen said she ‘absolutely’ supported alcohol and drug testing of MPs.

Victorian Senator Sarah Henderson said alcohol was a problem at Parliament House.

Both Liberals said they supported mandatory alcohol and drug testing.

"I think we need the highest possible standards in our workplace," Senator Henderson said.

She also said she had heard rumours about drug use, but did not know who was using and if the group included MPs.

Speaking about the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins, Senator Henderson said she was "absolutely disgusted" by the government's initial handling of the matter two years ago.

"I'm shell-shocked by the allegations which have emerged … and the fact that she didn't get the support that she needed," she said.

Senator Henderson said further revelations this week, including images showing a lewd sexual act being carried out on a female staffer's desk, were "absolutely disgusting".

"I say get out," she said.

"We need the bad eggs out of our parliament, out of our party and there should and must be a zero tolerance for this type of behaviour."

 

Journalist and political correspondent Patricia Karvelas, who was on the panel, said "it was about time" MPs were alcohol tested.

"It is toxic," she said.

"It is a behaviour that you would not have in any other workplace."

Originally published as Liberals call for MP drug, booze testing



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