House debates

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Questions without Notice

Members of Parliament: Staff

2:53 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. The Minister for Home Affairs has described the alleged sexual assault of Brittany Higgins as a matter of 'he said, she said'. Does the Prime Minister agree with this description?

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

This is a matter, as we know, that is now being further investigated by the Federal Police. What is very important with such serious matters is that we allow the police to do their job. They are the ultimate arbiters of how investigations into such sensitive matters are undertaken. They consider and weigh the evidence in that process and, ultimately, they work with the DPP in the event of bringing forward a public prosecution. I make this point because, when it comes to the protection of all Australians on any matter at all, we all rely on the operation of our criminal justice system and the work of our brave law enforcement authorities—our highly expert and sensitive law enforcement authorities. I want to particularly commend those women and men who work in the sensitive area of dealing with victims of sexual assault.

In answer to the question, the ultimate view about these matters is formed by the police, who interrogate and investigate evidence, form a view and allow a brief of evidence to be prepared. That is the process in this country, and we shall stand by it. We shall stand by the rule of law and its administration in this country on every occasion.