NSW coalition MPs will be cautioned about their behaviour after meowing was allegedly heard while a female Labor minister answered a question in state parliament.
Cabinet minister and Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison interrupted question time on Thursday to allege she had heard "a cat meow" sound from the opposition benches.
But no MP owned up to making the sound, which Ms Aitchison labelled offensive and said occurred while Industrial Relations Minister Sophie Cotsis was addressing the house.
The behaviour of all NSW MPs and staffers has been under the spotlight since a year-long investigation by former Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick found one in five people who work at Parliament House have experienced sexual harassment in the past five years.
Opposition leader Mark Speakman, who was seated well away from Ms Aitchison, told reporters he hadn't heard the sound.
But if it did occur, it was unacceptable and he would be reminding MPs to treat everyone with respect.
"We are often going to have robust disagreement but at the end of the day, that's a matter of basic courtesy and decency," he said.
Newly elected Liberal MP Kellie Sloane agreed, backing Speaker Greg Piper's attempts to rein in all lower house MPs.
A few months into the job, she described the parliament as a "unique environment (with) enthusiastic debate across the chamber".
Earlier the coalition announced it would, from opposition, introduce a bill to ban offshore gas and mining exploration in NSW waters.
The bill was introduced by Pittwater MP Rory Amon, who scraped into parliament after a battle with teal challenger Jacqui Scruby.
The coalition promised to implement the ban during its unsuccessful campaign for re-election at the March state poll.
An exemption would be made for activities to tackle beach erosion where a clear public benefit could be demonstrated.
Passing the bill is unlikely without the support of the Labor government, which holds 45 of the 93 seats in the lower house.
Ms Sloane called on state and federal Labor to support the ban, or else the uncertainty of future offshore exploration and mining would "continue to hang over our coastal communities".
The issue of offshore drilling flared during the March election campaign after a court quashed Scott Morrison's blocking of an offshore drilling permit, known as PEP-11.
The permit zone lies in both Commonwealth and state waters off the coast between Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong.
Federal Labor is tipped to renew the veto but if it didn't, the proposed legislation would prevent infrastructure being moved through state waters.
Elsewhere, vocational education and skills training got a boost with a $710 million investment to allow 556 approved providers to deliver subsidised training in priority qualifications.
Capacity has been increased for qualifications in emerging industries as skills for the jobs of the future, including in wind power generation and automotive electric vehicle technology.
"In a skills crisis, it is important that we create a workforce that meets the evolving needs of industries in NSW," TAFE and skills minister Tim Crakanthorp said.
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