Conservative senators have walked out of parliament as Greens leader Richard Di Natale called for stronger rules to police sexism in the upper house.
Nationals senator Barry O’Sullivan, Liberal Democrats’ David Leyonhjelm and independent Fraser Anning left the chamber after calls from all sides of politics to lift the standard of debate.
“We are allowing women to be demeaned in this chamber,” Senator Di Natale told parliament on Wednesday.
“They stand on all sides of this chamber but predominantly they are those people who are walking out right now.”
It came a day after Senator O’Sullivan was labelled a “pig” by Senator Di Natale for saying the Greens’ Sarah Hanson-Young “had a bit of Nick Xenophon in her”.
The Greens leader was suspended from parliament after refusing to withdraw the comment, saying he was taking a stand against constant sexist abuse towards female senators.
Senator Di Natale said men were openly and brazenly shaming, insulting and harassing female MPs in the upper house.
“It reinforces that culture that leads to 72 women being murdered by their partners this year,” he said.
Senator O’Sullivan, who claims he was talking about Senator Hanson-Young’s absence from an inquiry, shook his head during speeches from Labor Senate leader Penny Wong and Senator Di Natale.
Richard Di Natale calls for rules to stop sexism in Parliament. Post continues after video.