Farrer MP Sussan Ley has reflected on what was "attributed to gossip" in her time in the Australian Parliament as she pledges to support cultural change.
The Environment Minister, on what she called politics' "Me Too" moment, said she was feeling "really cognisant of the seriousness" of revelations which began with the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins.
"What we've heard in the corridors of Parliament, I have often attributed to gossip. And because it hasn't happened to me personally, or no one has come and raised it with me personally, I've put it to one side, and I've asked myself, 'Should I have done that?'" she told The Border Mail.
"Some of the things that went on, clearly went on around me, and I didn't know about them.
"Now, if anyone had said to me, 'Look, this is happening', I would never, ever have ignored it.
"I talk to my staff on a regular basis and I know that they would have come and seen me. But again, maybe staff didn't raise things because they felt the culture of the place was that you don't raise things. So, there's been this inability to speak up when people know that something is not right."
Ms Ley said the gossip she was referring to was "in the vein" of the well-known story told by the late Tim Fischer of walking in on people having sex in the 'meditation room'.
"Nothing in the gossip would indicate abuse or harassment," she said.
"If I had heard about abuse and harassment, even as gossip, I would have said 'What exactly is going on?'
"What has been hidden has bordered on sexual harassment and sexual abuse, and in the case of Brittany Higgins, sexual violence, and women across Australia are saying sexual harassment, sexual abuse and sexual violence are the things we deal with in our workplace and in our lives and it isn't OK."
At the time when Ms Ley was promoted to the health and sport portfolios by Tony Abbott in 2014, Julie Bishop had been the sole woman in Cabinet.
Ms Bishop recently spoke to former Liberal MP Sharman Stone's comments that a group in the party who called themselves 'the big swinging dicks' sought to block Ms Bishop's progression.
Ms Ley said she accepted the culture in Parliament had "in some instances sidelined women".
"I haven't gone to my workplace myself feeling overlooked, sidelined, or put upon, I just haven't," she said.
"But I don't invalidate the experience of others in any way, so I never at any stage would have said to any of the women over the years, 'What you're saying isn't how you've been treated', because clearly that's their feeling, and Julie Bishop, I think spoke very eloquently recently.
"I came into the Cabinet after - ironically, there was an issue then about there not being enough women in the Cabinet.
"And I felt that I made a strong contribution from the first day and I didn't feel that there was a sexist attitude towards me, but that doesn't mean that other people didn't experience it."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison did not support quotas at the time, telling the ABC "I don't believe quotas are the way you remove obstacles".
He has now indicated a willingness to explore it.
"Quotas is one of several fronts that we have to move on," Ms Ley said.
"I think we can have a smart quota system that identifies women early, that supports them with mentoring and training, and then actually does have a proportionate approach.
"Since I raised quotas (in 2018) we've done very well, we brought in the class of 2019 into the Federal Parliament, probably half-women, half-men. It doesn't mean the system's fixed.
"The issue of women's representation is now being taken incredibly seriously, and if you like, our lack of female representation.
"At the moment, my big concern is, why would any woman want to work in politics. That is a question that comes before the question of quotas.
"We are responding to a report from the Sex Discrimination Commissioner called 'Respect At Work', and that's about how people treat each other in every workplace."
Ms Ley said respect of women was an issue that extended past Parliament.
"I've been through workplaces where women were explicitly not treated well," she said.
"Perhaps (for) women of my generation to say ... we went through some really tough times and you know, we were groped in our workplaces, abused in our workplaces, made to feel welcome in our workplaces - I've been through all that - that doesn't mean that women have now arrived at a place where they're equal in their workplace, they clearly have not.
"On the one hand, I'm very defensive of my workplace, because I love it, and I wouldn't be there after this many years if I didn't.
"I love the things we've been able to do across the Parliament. But I also think of the nastiness of the jibes, of the get-one-up-man-ship.
"There's not enough respect for each other."
Mr Morrison's responses to multiple claims of bad, and in many cases, alleged criminal behaviour within the Australian Parliament have now drawn international media attention.
Ms Ley said the Prime Minister had talked about what he could have done better in his response to Ms Higgins' alleged rape.
"He's acknowledged that; he's acknowledged it took him a little while to come to the understanding of how women are feeling," she said.
"He absolutely has acknowledged that (what he could have done better)."
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Ms Ley, who was first elected in 2001 and is one of 11 female Liberals in the House of Representatives, said she was optimistic about change for the future.
"We will come out of this stronger, because we are being honest about what is happening, we are not seeing this as a political problem to solve," she said.
"The issues blindsided us all; they were unexpected and in many ways overwhelming. At the end of this process, the Parliament will be a very different place. This is a genuine turning point.
"I have a determination to be part of the future change, and I see the seeds of that being sown."
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