Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Staffers Shy Away as the Waters Muddy; Issue's Been Politicised, Says Adviser

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Staffers Shy Away as the Waters Muddy; Issue's Been Politicised, Says Adviser

Article excerpt

Byline: STAFF REPORTERS

A FORMER staffer of Peter Slipper says he is prepared to give evidence in court if the sexual harassment claim against the MP goes ahead.

But Richard Bruinsma said he decided not to go ahead with preparing an affidavit as part of the James Ashby (pictured left) case amid concerns it was becoming politically murky.

Mr Bruinsma worked with Mr Slipper (pictured right) for almost seven years and said he departed on amicable terms on March 30.

The former media adviser said there were agood times and bad times'' in the office but he believed the experience made him a better and stronger person.

aI genuinely believed I was doing my bit to make Australia a better place and I'm proud of the effort and work I did while there,'' he said.

aWhile there are some who wish to paint a bleak picture of the office, most of the time it was a very normal work environment, with committed staff working hard to do a good job.''

Mr Bruinsma, who now works for the Daily as a court reporter, said he had never witnessed any direct evidence of sexual harassment.

aWith regard to the James Ashby allegations, I had initially agreed to prepare an affidavit for his lawyers outlining some of my experiences and observations at the office,'' he said. …

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