Scott Morrison is reportedly "upset" with the latest news that a second woman was reportedly sexually assaulted by the man who is accused of raping Brittany Higgins.
The prime minister of Australia claims there are concerns with the ‘workplace atmosphere' at Parliament House.
Conservative Party leader Scott Morrison is “disappointed” after fresh allegations emerged that a second woman was sexually abused by the same man who reportedly raped former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins inside Parliament House.
Prime Minister Abbott responded to the allegations by saying that he was distressed by their publication in an Australian newspaper on Saturday. If the government had properly addressed the incident involving Higgins in 2019, the attack on her would never have happened.
Morrison reported having found issues with the “workplace culture” in Parliament House that must be resolved.
However, Morrison claimed that all ministers and political staffers who knew of Higgins' rape accusation made every effort to report the incident to the police.
Morrison, too, agreed with Higgins' decision to officially file a report with the Australian federal police in 2019 about her alleged rape inside Parliament House.
However, on Saturday morning, the opposition leader, Anthony Albanese, argued that the government had made a “political problem” out of the attack, rather than approaching it as a criminal matter, and had then placed Morrison's former chief of staff in charge of the investigation.
Higgins says the rape happened in early 2019 within the office of Linda Reynolds, the new Minister of National Defence. Since the incident, Higgins has resigned from her position as a Liberal staffer.
According to Morrison, his office did not discover the incident at Parliament House until last week, and he did not find out about it until Monday.
However, an exchange of text messages between Higgins and a Liberal staffer occurred just a few weeks after the incident.
In the post, the Liberal staffer asserted that he had spoken to a member of Morrison's staff directly. According to Higgins, at least three of Morrison's employees were informed of the incident prior to it happening.
Phil Gaetjens, the new Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary, has been appointed to lead a review into departmental correspondence about the fire.
But on Saturday, Albanese criticized the Gaetjens nomination, saying the investigation wouldn't be impartial.
Higgins claimed that it was evident that she was “designed to feel that there would be repercussions for her career if she pursued this matter.
Albanese said, “In order to deal with these issues, you must have the arm's length capacity without regard to the political parties or government, and you need the authority to deal with it.”
We agree that violence against women and children is a pervasive issue that exists in all aspects of society, and the Australian parliament should set a precedent for this; People should look to us for best practice, as a governing body.
Higgins has also ordered a study of the working conditions of ministerial and parliamentary employees.
According to the woman, political advisors have few protections, tools, and confidential reporting processes to resolve any workplace issues.
Morrison decided that improvements would be made to encourage the advancement of diversity.
What I must do and will continue to do is to ensure that the needs of our staff are met, that they are protected, that those who have suffered trauma and horror in the past are supported, and that we give whatever support we can to the police to ensure that these concerns are handled with discretion.
Albanese expressed outrage, telling reporters he was “shocked” by the claims a second woman was sexually assaulted by the same man who is accused of raping Higgins.
“My deepest sympathies go out to the person concerned.”