Kylea Tink has called out the “completely unacceptable” behaviour from some of her colleagues following a chaotic dispute in parliament.
The Teal MP said she felt unsafe when a heated back-and-forth broke out after the Opposition chose to dissent from the Speaker’s motion in parliament on Wednesday.
In an emotional speech on Thursday, she said it was “confronting” when a member of the Opposition began to yell at her and others “aggressively”.
“He aggressively challenged my voting decision referring to the testimony I had provided two nights earlier to a procedural committee into standing orders during which I’d expressed a desire to see questions answered more directly,” she said.
“His tone was hostile and his body language was aggressive.
“His words were ‘well where were you today? You say you want clear answers, that was your chance and where were you?’.”
Ms Tink called on Speaker Milton Dick to clarify what behaviour was acceptable.
“I ask this as someone who has worked in a number of different environments over the last 30 years, many of which have been male-dominated and have involved participating in an environment where debate was essential to bring the best ideas out of everyone,” she said.
“However, yesterday’s behaviour left me feeling like my senses had been assaulted by what I experienced as there was excessive and unconstructive noise and aggression being thrown around the room.”
Ms Tink said it was not the first time she had been subject to the aggression she most recently experienced.
“This follows the pattern I have experienced more than once as I entered this chamber, and I have noticed many other female colleagues have experienced the sort of treatment, particularly… Angie Bell,” she said.
Ms Tink said in any other professional environment, this behaviour would be “completely unacceptable”.
“I believe the tone of the debate was overly aggressive and personalised, with numerous examples of condescending and offensive language designed, I believe, to intimidate others within the chamber,” she said.
“If I could have, I would have left the chamber yesterday but it is my understanding that, ironically, that is not acceptable behaviour.”