The Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VACO) just released a comprehensive report called ‘Sexual Harassment in Local Government’.

The report examines whether councils provide their staff and councillors with workplaces which are free from sexual harassment.  They look at the prevalence and nature of sexual harassment in council; council’s policies, training and communication and the effectiveness of their complaints handling mechanisms.  Their findings are that councils often fail in their duties to offer a safe workplace.

The report is based on the examination of 5 councils and an anonymous survey, which garnered almost 10,000 responses from 75 councils.

A shocking 28% of respondents have experienced SH in the last 12 months, with this figure rising where intersectional factors were also present, such as age, cultural background, sexual orientation or gender expression.  What is more shocking is that only 2% made a formal complaint.

The ASU would like to hear from members who either participated in this survey or from members that did not know about the survey being conducted in their Council.

We are also interested in hearing from anyone who has experienced Sexual harassment in the workplace. These discussions would be kept confidential.

There is no place for sexual harassment at work. The ASU will continue to work with your delegates, members and HSR’s to ensure policies and processes are followed and that reporting of sexual harassment is done in a safe environment.

Your employer needs to be consulting with all employees especially your HSR’s and delegates when it comes to implementing policies and processes and reporting incidences on sexual harassment.

You can discuss these policies and processes with your Union workplace delegates or ASU Organiser as they most likely attend the Consultative Committee.

For a confidential discussion call our Women’s Organiser, Punita Boardman on 0418 566 408 or  email

Share this newsletter and ask them to join the ASU to help us fight for stronger and safer workplace.

The full report can be found here:


Melissa Wainwright
ASU Assistant Branch Secretary

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