Statement on release of Freckelton Report

Statement from the CEO:

“The City of Melbourne has today released the Supplementary Report of the independent investigation conducted by Dr. Ian Freckelton, QC into the conduct of the former Lord Mayor Robert Doyle towards Ms Kharla Williams at a Melbourne Health event in 2016. 

Dr Freckelton, QC has found on the Briginshaw standard that Mr Doyle behaved in a sexually inappropriate way towards Ms Williams at a Melbourne Health event on 25 June 2016.

The decision to release the Supplementary Report follows confirmation by Victoria Police that it has concluded an investigation into allegations raised by Ms Williams against Mr Doyle with no charges laid in relation to the allegations. 

I have contacted Ms Williams, and she has consented to the public release of this report.

The issues that confronted our Council in 2017 and 2018 were very serious. We acknowledge the great courage shown by the women – including Ms Williams – who called out the behaviour of Mr Doyle and came forward.

Our organisation and those who represent it must ensure that the working environment is safe, equitable and free from sexual harassment. 

Since these events, we have taken significant steps to improve our workplace policies and processes, including: 

  • A new code of conduct for councillors 
  • A suite of new policies and protocols to report sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior, and in relation to the consumption of alcohol 
  • The introduction of an Independent Adviser to support councillors in reporting complaints of inappropriate conduct
  • Councillor training and education on new policies and ways to report misconduct
  • Successfully advocating for changes to the Local Government Act.

We commit to our staff and community that we will continue to hold ourselves accountable and uphold a culture that does not tolerate misconduct and supports the calling out of unacceptable behaviour of all types.

A copy of the Supplementary Report (PDF 48 KB) is available here.”

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