The staffer accused of raping Brittany Higgins has not been given a sponsored go permitting entry to Parliament Home since his termination, the federal government says.
The alleged perpetrator went on to take up a lobbyist position with a Sydney-based public relations agency, the place he stayed till early 2020, earlier than shifting on to a job with a serious company later that yr.
Higgins, in the meantime, is unemployed, and the Guardian revealed on Tuesday that her associate, David Sharaz, has been pressured to depart his position managing federal authorities shoppers for a media analytics agency, claiming it was now not tenable.
Greens senator Larissa Waters has repeatedly requested the federal government whether or not the alleged perpetrator was sponsored for a brand new go to enter Parliament Home in affiliation together with his post-politics jobs.
On Tuesday, the prime minister, Scott Morrison, confirmed the alleged attacker had not been given a brand new go to enter parliament. His outdated go was cancelled on 27 March 2019, someday after his employment was terminated.
However senator Simon Birmingham stated the federal government couldn’t assure he had not been signed in since then on a one-off customer’s go to briefly go to the constructing. One-off sign-ins are recorded in handwriting on a paper system, and can’t be simply searched, Birmingham advised the Senate on Tuesday.
In the meantime, the defence minister, Linda Reynolds, got here unstuck whereas answering questions within the Senate about her dealing with of the alleged crime in March 2019.
Reynolds was questioned about her conferences with police and on two separate events advised the higher home she had met police twice.
The primary assembly with police, she stated, was on 1 April, with Higgins and Reynolds’ then chief of workers, Fiona Brown. That doesn’t accord together with her earlier statements. It additionally conflicts together with her assertion that she solely discovered concerning the alleged rape on 1 April in the course of the assembly she now says police have been at.
The second assembly, Reynolds stated, was with police on four April. She has beforehand stated she met police alone on that event however now says her chief of workers joined them late.
Labor’s Senate chief, Penny Wong, challenged the reply and put it to Reynolds that she was incorrect concerning the first assembly, given Higgins has stated she had by no means been in a gathering with each police and Reynolds.
Reynolds advised the Senate she would wish to double-check her reply.
“I’ll verify what I stated yesterday and what I stated at this time towards my recollections and I’ll come again on the first alternative to make clear,” she stated.
The Liberal social gathering has additionally been pressured to take away public feedback from its Fb web page that attacked Higgins and questioned her motives for coming ahead.
The feedback have been described as “offensive” and have been “instantly deleted”, a spokesperson advised information.com.au. “We are going to delete any related feedback,” they stated. “These feedback have been clearly incorrect and we condemn them.”
Morrison on Tuesday stood by earlier statements that his workplace was not made conscious of the alleged sexual assault till 12 February and that he didn’t grow to be conscious till 15 February. That’s regardless of Brown shifting to work in his workplace after the 2019 election.
“I can affirm to the home that my workplace turned conscious of the matter concerning the sexual assault on 12 February 2021,” Morrison stated on Tuesday.
“I can affirm that I didn’t grow to be conscious of the allegation of a sexual assault till 15 February 2021. I can let you know, on the time of those incidents, a number of years in the past, the difficulty of sexual assault was not raised with me.”
Higgins says Morrison’s non-public secretary, Yaron Finklestein, referred to as her in 2020 when an ABC 4 Corners documentary aired to investigate cross-check her.
The Guardian has additionally reported that one other Morrison staffer, who labored in Alex Hawke’s workplace on the time of the alleged rape, had information of the alleged attacker’s employment being terminated.