Labor MP Emma Husar and Bill Shorten. Picture: News Corp Australia
Labor MP Emma Husar and Bill Shorten. Picture: News Corp Australia

Emma Husar to return to parliament

LABOR MP Emma Husar will return to parliament next week after taking personal leave during the political storm over bullying allegations in a move that will threaten Scott Morrison's government in his third week as Prime Minister.

A Labor source has confirmed to News Corp today that Ms Husar will return to Parliament next week after taking three and a half weeks of personal leave.

Ms Husar told her supporters on Twitter that she had been back at work for the past two weeks.

Labor MP Emma Husar during Question Time in the House of Representatives in 2016. Picture: AAP
Labor MP Emma Husar during Question Time in the House of Representatives in 2016. Picture: AAP

Her decision to return will further imperil Prime Minister Scott Morrison's control of the House of Representatives where Malcolm Turnbull's decision to quit politics after he was ousted as Prime Minster has meant Mr Morrison has lost his one seat majority.

Nationals MP Kevin Hogan also moved to the crossbench last week in protest over the leadership spill against Mr Turnbull but has said he will continue to vote with the government when it needs confidence and supply.

The Prime Minister will need the other five crossbench MPs to vote with the government if Labor moves high stakes motions such as referring Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to the High Court.

Mr Turnbull's departure and Mr Hogan's move to the crossbench leaves the Coalition with just 73 MPs in the lower house and Labor with 69 MPs.

Emma Husar, appearing on 9 NEWS in August. Picture: 9 NEWS
Emma Husar, appearing on 9 NEWS in August. Picture: 9 NEWS

It could potentially allow Labor and the crossbench to block legislation in the House.

Speaker Tony Smith would need to cast a vote to prevent the government losing votes on legislation or motions if all of the crossbenchers backed Labor.

And if any other government MPs crossed the floor, the Coalition would lose the vote.

It's unlikely however that a no-confidence motion against the government, which would ultimately mean Mr Morrison had lost control of the house and would need to go to an election, would be successful.

Crossbench MP Cathy McGowan has said she will support the government if Labor moved any no-confidence motions to avoid having to go to the polls.

Labor has flagged its intention to push for Mr Dutton to be referred to the High Court over a possible Section 44 issue over his financial interest in a company that runs child care centres.

Ms Husar returns to serve out her term until the next federal election after she was cleared over allegations of "lewd conduct" and sexual harassment by an independent inquiry into bullying and harassment claims lodged against her by more than 20 former staffers.

The inquiry however backed the claims that her management style was "offensive and unreasonable".

It also backed complaints that Ms Husar had asked staff to perform "non-work related and personal duties" and recommended that allegations over the misuse of political entitlements be referred to the independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority.

The Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten. Picture: AAP
The Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten. Picture: AAP

Ms Husar announced her decision to quit politics at the next election before the inquiry's findings were published, slamming the "nameless, faceless" people who had "completely shredded" her reputation.

"I support the right of anyone to have their complaints heard, which is why I co-operated fully with NSW Labor's independent assessment, and, to uphold the confidentiality of that process, maintained my silence while my reputation was completely trashed in the media," Ms Husar said in a statement at the time.

"I kept quiet in the face of vicious and baseless smears and sensational clickbait headlines with no basis in fact.

Emma Husar leaving her home. Picture: Hollie Adams/The Australian
Emma Husar leaving her home. Picture: Hollie Adams/The Australian

"This vendetta lead to threats to my personal safety, the trolling of my children online and media parked outside my house around the clock. It has been terrifying for my kids and utterly traumatic for me."

She reiterated that she absolutely rejected the "malicious allegations" lodged against her as she announced she would not be recontesting the next election.

NSW Labor has refused to make the full report from the inquiry into the allegations public but has declared "there is no basis for Ms Husar to resign from the Australian Parliament".



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