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Calls Grow To Ban Alcohol From Australia's Parliament

Calls Grow To Ban Alcohol From Australia's Parliament

There has also been a campaign to force politicians and staffers to undergo random drug and alcohol tests while they're at work.

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

A senior government minister has added her voice to the growing calls for Australia's federal parliament to ban alcohol.

While booze might be allowed in some workplaces across the country, there have been suggestions for some time for the sauce to be removed from all corners of the building in Canberra.

According to the Daily Telegraph, there have been whispers in Australia's political heartland that some representatives have voted on the floor while under the influence of alcohol.

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews told Brisbane radio station 4BC that would be completely 'inappropriate' and she would be content in seeing alcohol banned in parliament.

"This is a workplace, alcohol should not be tolerated," she told Brisbane radio station 4BC.

The MP isn't alone in the idea, with Liberal parliamentarians Dr Katie Allen MP and Senator Sarah Henderson also backing calls for a new approach to alcohol.

The campaign to ditch the sauce started earlier this year after reports of sexual misconduct were finally making their way to the public.

The claims revealed a dark underbelly to life in Parliament House and some people suggested getting rid of the access to alcoholic drinks would be a good place to start.

An opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald stated: "Policies that target alcohol use alone will not single-handedly fix the issue. But they are an important part of the many actions needed to address the unsafe workplace that exists.

"It is no secret that Parliament House has a problem with alcohol. Risky alcohol use is highly normalised and prevalent at events, in meetings and even in offices when people are working a long sitting day.

"Alcohol lobby groups also frequently host events where a free bar is provided."

Whether a ban could or would be implemented is a different story.

Dr Katie Allen MP and Senator Sarah Henderson suggested have previously suggested that instead of booting the booze, it would be far more effective if politicians and staffers were subjected to random drug and alcohol tests.

Senator Henderson told the ABC: "MPs and senators are not that special; we are here to serve the community, and I've heard a few rumours about drugs.

"I haven't heard [that allegation levelled against] anyone in particular, but I'm just hearing a bit of scuttlebutt, and we need to be the best possible workplace."

Dr Allen added: "We need to have at least responsible drinking. But even ministers have said to me, 'You know what Katie, I think even a dry environment might not be a bad thing for Parliament.'"

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Australia