莫里森公开指责国防部长雷诺兹没有告诉他她的一名员工声称被一名同事强奸，而国防部长则向前员工Brittany Higgins 无保留地道歉。<br />
Fiona Brown, Reynolds's office director at the time, worked in Morrison's office after the 2019 general election, and she directly managed the matter after Higgins alleged that she was raped and learned about the suspected attack.
Higgins also said that when the ABC’s Four Corners Program broadcasted an investigation program on parliamentary culture in 2020, one of Morrison’s senior political advisers, Yaron Finkelstein, had “contacted” her, but the government said there was no record of communication.
Higgs's friends said that the "contact" conversation was conducted by WhatsApp text messages.
The government admitted that John Kunkel, Morrison's office director, and a consultant went to her office after the suspected raper was dismissed from work by Reynolds and was expelled for violating safety rules. They did not know the alleged sexual assault at the time.
As Morrison faced the question of whether he understood the matter, Reynolds, faced with the pressure of questioning whether he fulfilled his due obligations, used the Senate's questioning time to express an "unqualified apology" for her actions after the incident. .
Reynolds said her intention was to support her young employees, but admitted that Higgins felt that she did not have the support of her employer.
Higgins issued a statement on Tuesday pointing out the apology from the government and welcoming Morrison to adopt a better process for council employees. She said that this progress was "long overdue."
The former employee said it was time to conduct a comprehensive review of the parliamentary employee law to ensure adequate protection for employees.
She said: "There is a need for an independent reporting mechanism so that employees can complain confidently and safely-just like the mechanisms in many workplaces at home and abroad."
"The political parties also need to conduct internal insights and establish formal accountability procedures."
Reynolds was asked in the Senate whether she fired the person suspected of attacking Higgins, and whether she later helped him find another job or offered him a recommendation.
The Secretary of Defense confirmed that the person’s employment was terminated due to “violation of safety rules.” As far as she could recall, she did not issue him a letter of recommendation or provide employment assistance.
Government members also support Higgins' reform call. Some members say that the parliament needs an independent personnel function and significant cultural changes to ensure that the political office is managed professionally.
The Labor Party called for independent expert investigations of the culture of the Parliament and the election office under the supervision of the two parties.
Labour Party leader Anthony Albanese and Shadow Women’s Minister Tanya Plibersek issued a joint statement saying: “Brittany Higgins has shown real courage. Ms. Higgins’ description of her rape in the Office of the Minister of Defense is sad. We admire her courage and hope. She now has the true support and fairness she deserves and hopes that the police investigation will proceed smoothly."
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