Emma Husar

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Emma Husar
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Lindsay
In office
2 July 2016 – 11 April 2019
Preceded byFiona Scott
Succeeded byMelissa McIntosh
Personal details
Born (1980-04-20) 20 April 1980 (age 39)
Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyAustralian Labor Party
Children3

Emma Husar (born 20 April 1980[1]) was the Australian Labor Party (ALP) member of the Australian House of Representatives for the Division of Lindsay from 2016 to 2019. Following an internal investigation and media reports regarding staff complaints, she was disendorsed by the ALP.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Husar was born at Nepean Hospital[3] in Kingswood, New South Wales in the local government area of the City of Penrith.[1] She attended Caroline Chisholm College and Southport TAFE prior to enrolment at Western Sydney University in a Bachelor of Primary Teaching degree.[4]

Political career[edit]

Husar worked in the retail and service sectors. She joined the Labor Party in 2013[3] and became president of the Penrith Branch (ALP) in 2015.[1] Husar was unsuccessful as the ALP candidate for the seat of Penrith in the 2015 New South Wales state election,[5] but won the seat of Lindsay by defeating the sitting Liberal MP Fiona Scott in the 2016 federal election by a swing of 4.1 percent.[6] Lindsay was regarded as a key marginal seat.[7]:para 1 During her term in office, Husar sat on parliamentary committees for the National Disability Insurance Scheme; Employment, Education and Training; and Social Policy and Legal Affairs.[1]

Internal Assessment[edit]

In July 2018, it was reported that Husar had been the subject of an internal assessment commissioned by the NSW Labor Party since March regarding staff complaints of workplace bullying and misconduct.[8][9][10] Husar denied the allegations and took personal leave shortly afterwards, citing threats of violence directed towards her.[11][12] The investigation conducted by barrister John Whelan upheld complaints that Husar had behaved offensively and unreasonably towards her staff.[13] Separately, claims of lewd conduct and misleading the parliament were rejected. Legal advice based on this assessment prompted the NSW Labor Party to report that there was no basis for Husar to resign from parliament.[14]

Endorsement[edit]

Husar had already been re-endorsed as the party's candidate at the 2019 election, but announced on 8 August 2018 (two days before investigation findings were made public)[15] she would not recontest her marginal seat. Labor accepted her decision.[16] In an interview on the ABC's 7.30, Husar said "slut shaming" led to her decision to resign.[17]

In November 2018, Husar said she had changed her mind and disputed that she had ever ceased to be endorsed as the Labor candidate.[18] Husar sought intervention by Labor leader Bill Shorten, who stated that it was not in the best interests of the ALP or Husar for her to recontest the seat.[19] On 7 December 2018, NSW Labor formally disendorsed Husar from recontesting the seat of Lindsay.[20]

She subsequently stated that she would challenge the disendorsement.[21] On 11 December, Labor officially selected Diane Beamer. Apparently, Husar did not nominate for the ALP preselection ballot.[22] On 11 April, she confirmed that she would not contest the seat as an independent at the 2019 federal election.[23]

Defamation proceedings[edit]

In early December 2018, Husar announced that she had launched defamation proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against BuzzFeed, the originator of the investigation-story, and a reporter. Husar claimed the publication of unsubstantiated allegations without the right of reply lead to a media storm which ruined her career, thus causing economic loss.[24] In July 2019, Husar and Buzzfeed reached an out-of-court settlement.[25] Buzzfeed subsequently published an apology but avoided admitting liability over the article, instead they did agree to taking it offline.[26]

Expenses breaches[edit]

In March 2019, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Husar had repaid $2300 to the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority after an audit found that there had been twenty-one individual breaches of travel expenses in an eighteen-month period. Husar explained that approximately ten per cent of the total was related to knee surgery and pneumonia in August 2016.[27]

Personal[edit]

Husar is of Polish descent.[28] She has three children and is single.[29] In a November 2016 parliamentary speech, Husar revealed that she grew up in a family with a history of domestic violence perpetrated by her father.[30][29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Ms Emma Husar MP". www.aph.gov.au. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Husar dumped as ALP candidate for Lindsay". SBS News. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  3. ^ a b "What do you know about your new MP?". The Daily Telegraph. 7 July 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  4. ^ "What do you know about your new MP?". www.dailytelegraph.com.au. 7 July 2016.
  5. ^ Knott, Matthew (24 November 2016). "Emma Husar: how a backbencher from Penrith become the face of Australia's domestic violence crisis". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  6. ^ "House of Representatives division information". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  7. ^ Martin, Sarah (3 July 2016). "Federal election 2016: volunteer deficit stalls fight for Lindsay". The Australia. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Labor MP Emma Husar Is Under Investigation Over Allegations Of Workplace Bullying And Misconduct". BuzzFeed News. 20 July 2018. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Emma Husar says she is 'horrified' to learn of bullying allegations from former staff". ABC News. 19 July 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  10. ^ Candace Sutton (21 July 2018). "Emma Husar: Staff claim they were MP's 'slaves'". News.com.au. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Embattled Labor MP Emma Husar takes personal leave after 'threatening messages'". ABC News. 24 July 2018.
  12. ^ Karp, Paul (24 July 2018). "Labor MP Emma Husar takes personal leave after bullying allegations take toll". the Guardian.
  13. ^ Loussikian, Kylar (2 December 2018). "We are not a few 'bad apples': Emma Husar's staff break their silence". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  14. ^ Michelle Grattan (10 August 2018). "Inquiry finds Husar behaved badly to staff but dismisses allegations of lewd conduct". The Conversation. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Outgoing Labor MP Emma Husar's statement". SBS News. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Emma Husar won't recontest marginal seat for Labor at next election". ABC news. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  17. ^ Sales, Leigh (28 August 2018). "'Slut-shaming is used as a method of torture': Emma Husar explains why she quit politics". ABC News. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  18. ^ "'Bill's always got my back': Emma Husar declares she's still Labor's candidate in Lindsay". The Australian. 27 November 2018. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  19. ^ "Bill Shorten won't back Emma Husar's bid to run for Labor at the next election". ABC News. 2 December 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  20. ^ "Ructions over Sydney seats crush Labor women's hopes". SMH. 7 December 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  21. ^ "Husar dumped as ALP candidate for Lindsay". SBS News. 7 December 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  22. ^ "Emma Husar considering options after Labor picks new Lindsay candidate". ABC News. 11 December 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  23. ^ "'Our time together was brief': Husar bows out of politics with statement to Lindsay". Sydney Morning Herald. 11 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  24. ^ "Labor MP Emma Husar launches defamation proceedings against Buzzfeed". ABC News. 6 December 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  25. ^ "Emma Husar settles defamation case with news site Buzzfeed over 'slut' claims". ABC News. 29 July 2019. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  26. ^ McGowan, Michael (30 July 2019). "BuzzFeed apologises to Emma Husar for distress caused by 'slut-shaming' article". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  27. ^ Bagshaw, Eryk (7 March 2019). "Emma Husar pays back $2300 after 21 expenses breaches". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  28. ^ "Husar addresses dual citizenship rumours". The Western Weekender. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  29. ^ a b "What do you know about your new MP?". Penrith Press. News Corp. 7 July 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  30. ^ Knott, Matthew (24 November 2016). "Emma Husar: how a backbencher from Penrith become the face of Australia's domestic violence crisis". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Fiona Scott
Member for Lindsay
2016–2019
Succeeded by
Melissa McIntosh