House debates

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Questions without Notice

Minister for Defence

2:29 pm

Photo of Anthony AlbaneseAnthony Albanese (Grayndler, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is again to the Prime Minister. How can the defence minister maintain the Prime Minister's confidence when the Prime Minister agrees that the defence minister was aware for two years of a reported serious offence occurring just down the corridor from the Prime Minister's own office which potentially attracts a custodial sentence and did not inform the Prime Minister or his office, according to his own statements?

2:30 pm

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

My understanding is that the minister acted in good faith towards Brittany and sought to support Brittany. Brittany, I understand, chose not to make a statement to police about this matter, but the minister, I understand, encouraged her to make a statement to the police about this matter. The agency of individuals—Brittany, in this case, or anyone else who find themselves in this case—and the power to make the decision about how they wish to proceed is something we have to respect. This is a very difficult situation and I'm sure the Leader of the Opposition would agree that, in terms of the safety of the people who work in this building, no party has a mortgage on this type of behaviour. So let us address it together.