Tuesday, 11 May 2021
Questions without Notice
Members of Parliament: Staff
My question is to the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Minister for Government Services, Senator Reynolds. The minister has said she is assisting the AFP with their inquiry into the alleged rape of Ms Higgins in her office by one of her other staff members. Given the minister's colleague and now acting Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator Cash, refused to submit to an interview by the AFP, will the minister commit to fully cooperating with the Australian Federal Police in their investigation, including submitting herself to an interview if requested?
I thank the senator for the question. In short, the answer is yes. I've always said in this chamber that I stand ready to assist Ms Higgins and the current AFP investigation. I have been careful at all times not to prejudice the investigation, and I can confirm that I am in touch with the AFP investigators. I'm preparing a statement, and, if asked, I will certainly be interviewed by them.
Thank you very much for that question again. I think that question has been asked and answered many times. I have come to some arrangement with Ms Higgins, and I don't intend to say anything further.
I really have nothing further to add than what I have said previously in this chamber. I said back then I will do nothing to prejudice the AFP investigation, and, in fact, I'll be assisting it, and that I'll continue to do. Any—
My point of order is relevance. The minister has been asked whether or not she offered her resignation to the Prime Minister on one of two grounds, and I am seeking a straightforward answer to that question of fact.
What I can tell you about my conversations with the Prime Minister is when I became extremely unwell and ended up in hospital the Prime Minister was absolutely superb. I had a number of conversations with him on a regular basis about a range of issues, including my health, and the nature of those discussions between myself and the Prime Minister will remain between the Prime Minister and myself.