A Senate Estimates committee broke down this week over the appropriateness of anime figurines in the workplace. The committee gathered to discuss the private figure collection of Fair Work Commission deputy president Gerard Boyce, which was removed from his office following complaints they were inappropriate.
“Approximately 20” anime figures were displayed in Boyce’s office, described by Fair Work Commission general manager Bernadette O’Neill as “scantily clad” anime or cartoon-style figures.
The general manager had difficulty recalling the extent of the incident and agreed that the figures were not nude, but still felt they were inappropriate for an office environment.
While she did not agree that she thought they were erotic, Labor senator Deborah O’Neill, who led the committee, indicated that other members of the Fair Work Commission had identified them as erotic in nature.
According to the committee, these figures were created by Boyce himself and were amateurish in nature.
When questioned by the Senate Estimates committee over whether “some of [the figures] were so unpleasant that there was a partial removal of some of them”, Bernadette O’Neill agreed that was the case. The offending figures were removed from Boyce’s office following multiple concerns, but there were no formal complaints lodged.
The same committee also heard that Boyce had installed a surveillance camera in his office without permission, which raised further concerns.
The Senate Estimates committee became heated as the topic of the appropriation of the female body came up, with Labor senator Deborah O’Neill saying that Boyce’s passion, “really makes you wonder about the quality of [his] appointment.”
Liberal senator James McGrath spoke out against this accusation and was cautioned by O’Neill to be careful about defending Boyce’s interests. It was here that the committee broke down. It was adjourned with a private meeting between McGrath and Deborah O’Neill.
You can view the discussion here, including the moment where the hearing is adjourned at 02:01:25 in the video.
According to the ABC, the Government’s workplace insurer will now launch an investigation into these reports.