Media Release - Labor Welcomes Real Action to Stop Sexual Assault on Campus as Win for Students

Thursday 6 April 2017


The NSW Labor Opposition has welcomed announcements over the last two days by the Australian Human Rights Commission and Universities Australia that they will be taking real action to stop sexual assault on university campuses across Australia.

Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Jenny Aitchison and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary, Jo Haylen met with Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins today at Parliament House. Commissioner Jenkins reiterated her comments yesterday that the Human Rights Commission will release recommendations for change on the basis of a nation-wide survey of 39,000 students last year. Universities Australia (UA) announced today that data for individual universities would be released when the Human Rights Commission report comes out, expected to be around mid 2017. Labor will be meeting with UA in the coming weeks.

Labor has worked with university women’s officers and students across NSW over the last year to fight for strong action towards ending sexual assault on university campuses. These two announcements have been welcomed by Labor as a win for students.

Quotes attributable to Jenny Aitchison MP, Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence:

“Sexual assault and harassment on campus can only be addressed if individual institutions are held to account and if there are strong recommendations for change. Today’s announcement by Universities Australia and our discussions with the Sex Discrimination Commissioner confirm that this will happen, and that is a win for students.”

“Labor will continue to hold Universities to account in ensuring that sexual assault, harassment and violence are not tolerated on campuses.”

Quotes attributable to the Hon Sophie Cotsis MLC, Shadow Minister for Women:

“Rape and sexual assault should not be women’s experience on campus. Labor will work with all stakeholders to stop sexual assault on campus.”

Quotes attributable to Jo Haylen MP, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary:

“This report will be a turning point for a generation of activists fighting for action on sexual assault on campus. Labor will continue to work with students to support their important work.”

Media Contact: Jenny Aitchison - 0418 456 405

Sophie Cotsis - 0407 945 914

Jo Haylen - 0426 626 166 (Mat Howard)