It is alleged that Pauline Hanson’s chief of staff, James Ashby, bullied and threatened a crossbench staffer. The anonymous staff member claims that Mr Ashby “sought to cross-examine me on my contact with One Nation candidate Fraser Anning” in a “very angry and aggressive manner”. Mr Anning is set to replace recently disqualified Malcolm Roberts as One Nation senator. The alleged victim, whose complaint has been referred to occupational and health and safety company Konekt, said that he was “concerned for [his] physical safety”. One of Mr Robert’s own former staffers also alleged that he and four others were similarly “bullied”, “harassed” and “coerced into resigning on the spot” simply for speaking with Mr Anning. Mr Ashby has refused to comment on the matter.
The Confederation of Australian State Theatres (CAST) has issued a statement in condemnation of workplace abuse and harassment. CAST, whose members include the Melbourne Theatre Company, Bell Shakespeare and Black Swan State Theatre Company, has come out with this statement in light of recent allegations of sexual harassment occurring in the entertainment industry around the world. The statement notes that, “CAST companies are committed to providing safe theatre and workplaces that are free from harassment and abuse…The wellbeing of those who work for us is of utmost importance”.