Julie Bishop has hit out at what she believes is unequal treatment of women in Parliament. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty
Julie Bishop has hit out at what she believes is unequal treatment of women in Parliament. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty

Julie Bishop unleashes on ‘appalling behaviour’

JULIE Bishop has delivered her first public address since resigning as foreign minister, blasting the "appalling behaviour" in Canberra in the lead-up to the leadership spill.

Speaking at the Australian Women's Weekly Women of the Future awards on Wednesday night, Ms Bishop said the events that led to the ousting of Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister "would not be tolerated in any other workplace in Australia," the Australian Financial Review reports.

The most powerful woman in Australian politics slammed the party's actions, saying it calls for a "much broader debate about workplace culture" including "allegations of bullying, harassment and coercion and the unequal treatment of women."

The former deputy Liberal leader and foreign minister also took aim at the party's lack of female representation, saying: "I say to my party, it is not acceptable for us to have in 2018 to have less than 25 per cent of our parliamentarians as female."

Julie Bishop at the 2018 Women’s Weekly Women of the Future event held at Quay restaurant at The Rocks. Picture: Richard Dobson
Julie Bishop at the 2018 Women’s Weekly Women of the Future event held at Quay restaurant at The Rocks. Picture: Richard Dobson

Ms Bishop added: "I have seen and witnessed some appalling behaviour, that in a law firm I would never have accepted but in Parliament, it's the norm.

"We must defend and strengthen our institutions, and we must treat our Parliament with more respect. Unacceptable workplace practices are the responsibility of us all to identify, to stop it, to fix it."

Ms Bishop was a strong contender to replace Mr Turnbull following Peter Dutton's failed leadership challenge last month, but was knocked out in the first round of party room voting, before Treasurer Scott Morrison swept in to take the top job.

She said there was much to be done within the Liberal party when it comes to female representation.

Julie Bishop, Member for Curtin and partner David Panton at the Women of the Future Awards in Sydney. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty
Julie Bishop, Member for Curtin and partner David Panton at the Women of the Future Awards in Sydney. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty

"It is not acceptable for our party to contribute to a fall in Australia's ratings from 15th in the world in terms of female parliamentary representatives in 1999, to 50th today," Ms Bishop said.

"There's a lot to be done and I'm committed to be helping do it."

Earlier this week, it emerged that Mr Turnbull allegedly offered Mr Dutton the role of deputy Liberal leader - a position occupied by Ms Bishop for nearly a decade - in a last-ditch attempt to prevent a leadership challenge.

The Home Affairs Minister reportedly turned down the offer because he believed he had the backing of Liberal MPs to seize Mr Turnbull's job.

Mr Morrison dismissed the report on Wednesday morning, saying Australians couldn't care less.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a visit to Youngcare House in Brisbane. Picture: AAP/Dan Peled
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a visit to Youngcare House in Brisbane. Picture: AAP/Dan Peled

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