House debates

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Questions without Notice

Members of Parliament: Staff

2:48 pm

Photo of Tanya PlibersekTanya Plibersek (Sydney, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Education) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister: Yesterday Peta Credlin said there was no way a prime minister or his office wouldn't know about an alleged sexual assault in a minister's office. Ms Credlin says the claim that the Prime Minister and his office weren't told doesn't stack up and 'doesn't smell right to me'. Does the Prime Minister stand by his story?

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

I have answered these questions honestly and openly in this place, and the statements I've made to this House about all of these issues are exactly as they are to my knowledge. I continue to stand by those statements, and I will. As I said in this place yesterday, the advice that we had in dealing with this matter when it was a matter for the now Minister for Defence, but the then Minister for Defence Industry, was that the minister at the time arranged for Brittany to meet with the police, she respected her wishes as they were expressed to her and we at all times sought to provide support in the best way we possibly could.

As I said earlier this week, clearly, over the passage of time, Brittany has felt that that support was not sufficient, and that is what we have to address. We have to learn from this. That is why the inquiry and process that has been set up across parties, all across this place, will be there—to try and ensure that these supports pick up all the lessons of this and other issues. I would say this to the members of this House and in the other place: if there is any suggestion here that this is not an issue, or if there's any suggestion that this issue is confined to any one party in this place, then I think that's a false suggestion. I think we all understand that. We're working to put a process in place—that is, the Leader of the Opposition and I, and other leaders—to ensure, as best as we are all able, that this will not happen again. That is our goal. We share that goal. That's my goal. I believe that's what Brittany would like us to achieve as well, and I'm committed to that.