Saturday, July 31

Former Liberal Staff Member Says Government Has Questions to Answer About His Conduct


Former Liberal staff member Brittany Higgins says the Federal Government has questions to answer about her conduct as new details emerged from the night of his alleged violation inside the House of Parliament.

Higgins revealed allegations to news.com.au and Channel 10 The project On Monday she was raped by a staff member of the then Defense Industry Minister and current Defense Minister, Linda Reynolds, in the early hours of March 23, 2019.

Today, she released a new explosive statement when more details about her alleged sexual assault were released.

Brittany Higgins has alleged that she was raped in Parliament by a colleague and left with little support, prompting Prime Minister Scott Morrison to order a review of how allegations of assault in the workplace are handled.
Brittany Higgins has alleged that she was raped in Parliament by a colleague and left with little support, prompting Prime Minister Scott Morrison to order a review of how allegations of assault in the workplace are handled. (Supplied / Nine)

“I only learned of the key elements of my own sexual assault as a result of my public presentation of my story,” Higgins said in the statement.

“I didn’t know that the security guards let me into Minister Reynolds’s suite. I didn’t know that a security guard (sic) entered the office several times and saw me undressing.

“I was not aware that they were conducting an internal review on how the matter was handled at the time.

“I did not know that they debated calling an ambulance at the time of the incident.”

Higgins also targeted Prime Minister Scott Morrison and highlighted senior parliamentary officials in his statement.

“The continuing rhetoric of blaming the victims by the Prime Minister is personally very distressing to me and many other survivors,” he wrote.

“A current senior staff member of the Prime Minister and my former Chief of Staff refused to give me access to CCTV footage from that night and continually made me feel like my current job would be jeopardized if I continued to import.

“The government has questions to answer for its own conduct.”

During Question Time in Parliament today, Mr Morrison was lobbied on whether he would support an independent external review of Ms Higgins’ allegations.

Brittany Higgins.
Brittany Higgins. (Supplied)

“The short answer to that is yes … and that’s what I indicated yesterday,” Morrison said.

Morrison said yesterday that two reviews will be conducted on how parliamentary staff could be better protected.

He said he would work with Assistant Cabinet Secretary Stephanie Foster to review workplace complaint processes and establish an automated reporting process for department officials.

Morrison said his office was not informed of the allegations until a few weeks ago due to the alleged victim’s privacy.

“I understand that there was a judgment on the balance of protecting Brittany’s privacy at that time,” he said.

“That trial can certainly be commented and judged, but that was my understanding of what happened at that time.

“Those who were close to Brittany went out of their way to help her. Like I said, over time, clearly that was not effective. And I accept it.”


www.9news.com.au

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