Greens divided on how to deal with allegations of sexual misconduct within the party


The Greens' handling of the embarrassing social media activity of one party candidate, the regretful rap song of another, allegations of sexual misconduct by a party member and rape by a party volunteer has triggered disunity within the party.

Greens candidate for Victoria’s upcoming state election Angus McAlpine has apologised for rapping about date rape drugs and violence toward women.

"I am so ashamed of those things that I once said. But that doesn't represent me now and it didn't represent me then,” said the candidate for Footscray.

And then there’s Dominic Phillips, another Victorian Greens candidate, ‘liking’ Facebook pages like these:

dominic philips

Despite this, the party is sticking by both candidates.

State party leader Samantha Ratnam stood should-to-shoulder at a press conference with Mr McApline.

"It speaks to the culture of toxic masculinity that so many men, so many young people, are vulnerable to and fall prey to,” said Dr Ratnam.

But in NSW, the Greens are divided over how to address sexual misconduct.

Greens MP Jenny Leong has used parliamentary privilege to turn up the heat of her colleague Jeremy Buckingham.

“You must acknowledge your role in this and stand aside before more damage is done,” said Ms Leong.

Former Greens member Holly Brooke spoke with Marc Fennell and Laura Murphy-Oates about how the party deals with claims of sexual misconduct.

In September this year, Mr Buckingham was cleared by an independent investigation into alleged sexual misconduct towards a former staffer in 2011.

"I am no longer going to be a part of a system that runs a protection racket for badly behaved men in this place or in society — it has to stop," said Ms. Leong.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale says Jeremy Buckingham shouldn’t contest the next election.

But Cate Faehrmann, a member of the NSW Greens disagrees.

“As a woman, I am angry at the way this complaint has been used as a political weapon. This risks making it harder for all women who have experienced sexual harassment and assault to feel safe and supported to come forward,” said Ms Faehrmann.

Complaints about the party’s handling of sexual assault and harassment allegations have been happening for years.

Last year, frustrated by the NSW Greens response to her alleged rape by a volunteer in 2015, journalist Lauren Ingram shared her story on twitter.

Three years on, some young women are leaving the party, saying not enough has changed.