Ex-staff claims: Slipper ‘racist, sexist’
FORMER Federal Speaker Peter Slipper made racist comments about his staff and compared female employees to genitalia, a former staff member has claimed.
In a series of explosive allegations lodged with the Federal Court, Mr Slipper's former media adviser, Karen Doane, also said the former Member for Fisher was a misogynist who favoured his male staff.
She claimed he believed his female staff were better suited to "menial tasks" as he instructed her to make his tea and help him dress in his ceremonial robes prior to him presiding over parliamentary sittings.
Ms Doane has filed an application alleging unlawful discrimination under the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986.
She is claiming damages for the "offence, humiliation, distress and anxiety" allegedly suffered in Mr Slipper's employ and accused him of age discrimination, disability discrimination, racial discrimination and sex discrimination, while also claiming he was guilty of "misogynistic conduct".
Mr Slipper has denied all the allegations and called for the proceedings to be struck out as an abuse of process.
Judge Manousaridis has referred the matter to mediation, which is due to take place on November 13.
The claims were lodged in the Federal Circuit Court in Sydney on February 19 but were originally restricted under direction of the ruling judge.
The Sunshine Coast Daily has now obtained the documents through the Federal Court and for the first time can reveal the full extent of Ms Doane's allegations.
Both Mr Slipper and the Commonwealth Government are in her sights as she seeks compensation for loss or damage as well as interest, costs and "other relief as the court may deem fit".
"From January 5, 2012, the applicant began seeing a psychologist to discuss her treatment by Mr Slipper and its impact upon her," her Statement of Claim says.
Documents tendered to the court showed Ms Doane held the role of Mr Slipper's media advisor from November 24, 2011, until September 27, 2013.
However, she was in office for less than five months as she was on paid leave from April 10, 2012, to January 2, 2013. Mr Slipper resigned as Speaker on October 9 2012 following allegations of sexual harassment and abuse of cab charges.
As well as the other claims, Ms Doane alleged Mr Slipper's behaviour was inappropriate when she visited his private Buderim home.
She says she was let in by his wife before he walked past her "wearing only his white underwear pants and a shirt".
That, she claims, was "unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature" which caused her to feel offended, humiliated or intimidated and caused distress and anxiety.
Ms Doane also claimed Mr Slipper favoured male staff member James Ashby because of his sex.
"During the relevant period, the applicant observed Mr Slipper appeared to favour Mr Ashby and his company over that of his other staff," the court documents said.
Mr Ashby make national headlines last year when he accused Mr Slipper of sexual harassment.
The gay media adviser dropped the claim in June.
Mr Slipper was recently convicted of fraud over his misuse of about $900 in taxi dockets and last week received a 300-hour community service order.
Ms Doane also cited the taxi docket scandal, in which she was alleged along with Mr Ashby to have illegally copied Mr Slipper's diary, as further reason why she deserved compensation.
"During the relevant period, Mr Ashby made allegations to the applicant about his concerns in relation to Mr Slipper's use of Cabcharge vouchers," the documents say.
"These allegations caused the applicant further anxiety."
Her discussions with Mal Brough, Mr Slipper's arch-rival and later his successor in the seat of Fisher, form part of her Statement of Claim as Mr Ashby's claims were alleged to have contributed to her stress levels.
Mr Slipper's lawyer, Simon Berry, said the case should be dismissed on the grounds Ms Doane's purpose was to "vilify" Mr Slipper, expose him to "opprobrium and scandal", bring him into disrepute, destroy or seriously damage his reputation and standing and destroy or seriously damage his political position or career.
He also argued this was to "advance the political interests of one or both of the Liberal National Party or Mal Brough and to advance the personal and career interests of Ms Doane and Mr Ashby".
The court documents showed Ms Doane was receiving Comcare payments of $2099.45 a fortnight. Comcare is the federal workers' compensation scheme.
Mr Slipper has also argued in separate documents the Commonwealth should be liable for any costs in this case.
He could not be reached for comment.
* Examples of "sexist conduct" included that Mr Slipper "b'ccd" her work to Mr Ashby, but did not include her in emails to Mr Ashby.
* He allowed Mr Ashby to work from home, but didn't allow her to.
* Mr Slipper "unreasonably criticised" her work by often rewriting it.
* He asked Mr Ashby to oversee her work, even though he had "less experience".
* He breached Disability Conduct because he asked her to not take sick leave and also questioned the number of days sick leave she was taking.
* Mr Slipper criticised her performance when "she was unwell and working from home".