Embattled Labor MP takes personal leave
EMBATTLED Labor MP Emma Husar has taken personal leave, effective immediately, as she faces an internal investigation into allegations of workplace bullying and harassment of staff.
Ms Husar has been accused of using staff employed by her office to mind her children and clean up after her dog.
The western Sydney MP says she has received threatening messages including threats of violence and has referred them to federal police.
"The past few days have been incredibly difficult for my family. I'm a single mum and my first priority is the safety and wellbeing of my children," Ms Husar said in a statement on Tuesday night.
"The best thing for me and my family right now is for us to be out of the spotlight so I can access support."
Ms Husar said her electorate office would continue to operate as normal.
"I look forward to returning to my duties as the Member for Lindsay very soon," she said.
Earlier, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he first heard of the allegations against Ms Husar on Wednesday of last week.
"I think she has been a hardworking member in her electorate and I'm going to let the investigation by the NSW Labor Party run its course," Mr Shorten told reporters in Tasmania.
Federal Labor colleague Mike Kelly leapt to Ms Husar's defence, saying he had no problem with using staff with taxpayer-funded salaries to help the single mother-of-three juggle life as a federal politician.
"It's a small price to pay for having a truly representative democracy and facilitating the ability of women to participate in our parliament," Mr Kelly told Sky News.
But Mr Kelly said Ms Husar had been upfront with people about the help she needs to do her job.
"You've got a hardworking young woman here, a single mother with three kids, having to juggle a very tough electorate in Lindsay with a lot of diverse issues and then of course do the commute to Canberra," he said.