Senate debates

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions without Notice

Members of Parliament: Staff

2:00 pm

Photo of Penny WongPenny Wong (SA, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Defence, Senator Reynolds. It relates to the allegations of rape which have been made publicly. The alleged rape occurred on the evening of Friday 22 March 2019 or the morning of Saturday 23 March 2019. On or before Monday the 25th, the minister's office is made aware an incident took place. On Tuesday 26 March 2019 the minister's then chief of staff, who currently works in the Prime Minister's office, meets with both the alleged rapist and Ms Higgins. Ms Higgins discloses the alleged rape. On Monday 1 April, the minister finally meets with Ms Higgins. How can the minister maintain to the Senate and to the public that, six days after Ms Higgins disclosed the alleged rape to the minister's chief of staff, she, the minister, still did not know?


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