STATEMENT BY CATHERINE MARRIOTT

7 September 2018

“I was informed yesterday afternoon by email that after an eight month investigation, the NSW National Party of Australia has been unable to make a determination about my complaint of sexual harassment against the former leader of that Party, Barnaby Joyce, due to insufficient evidence.

This is despite the investigation finding I was “forthright, believable, open and genuinely upset” by the incident.  The result of this investigation has underpinned what is wrong with the process and the absolute dire need for change. This outcome simply isn’t good enough.

I’m extremely disappointed that after eight months of waiting, three trips to the east coast at my own expense to meet with the Party, my name and confidential complaint being leaked to the national media, and my personal and professional life being upended, the National Party have reached a ‘no conclusion’ verdict.

While dismayed at the finding, I am not surprised as the Party never had the external processes in place to deal with a complaint of sexual harassment by a Member of Parliament. My complaint was handled internally by NSW National Party Executive with no professional external expert bought in at any stage to handle the matter.

The only positive to come from this harrowing experience has been the development of a much improved policy by the Party that I volunteered to contribute towards and strongly encouraged the development of.

In my initial statement following the leaking of my name I said this was about seeking acknowledgment by the National Party that it needs to reform the way these types of complaints are managed.  I feel heartened that this has been achieved and people who find themselves in similar situations to me in the future will have a robust policy in place to assist them.

While it has come at enormous personal expense, I was not prepared to walk past this kind of behaviour any longer. I am pleased I stood up for what I believed was right and I’m proud I found the courage to make a difference for other people who want to create influence through political circles in future.

Media contact:

Nicole Moody – 0407 401 077 / nicole@huntercomms.com.au