Scott Morrison’s government is a mess – but don’t take my word for it, take his

At Question Time, Labor’s Peta Murphy cited a report that two years ago, shortly after her alleged rape in the Secretary of Defense’s office, Brittany Higgins contacted an employee in the Prime Minister’s office who was “embarrassed and debated in need of an advisor “

Ms. Murphy said, “Isn’t it incredible that the Prime Minister’s office didn’t know when this exchange took place two years ago?”


Now he has asked the secretary of his department to find out who knew what and when

What an admission of a total lack of confidence in the Australian government’s engine room

Couldn’t Mr. Morrison personally ask his principal private secretary or other hand-picked advisors what and when they knew, let alone why they didn’t tell him?

One of his current officers, Fiona Brown, worked directly on the Higgins Crisis two years ago as Chief of Staff to Secretary Linda Reynolds

She did not think it was her duty to inform the Prime Minister’s office, if you can believe Mr Morrison, even after she returned to him after the election

That could be believable Apart from the fact that she gained personal experience in the field of political crisis management while working in the office of then-Front Bencher of the opposition, Arthur Sinodinos, in 2016

When Senator Sinodinos faced issues of declaring monetary interests and handling donations to the Liberal Party from dubious sources, Ms. Brown kept then Senate and Party Chairman Tony Abbott fully informed

But five years later, when the stakes in the government are much higher, it appears to have not followed this standard procedure

Equally curious is the behavior of Minister Reynolds. She has now regained her composure and has been shedding questions about her role in handling the shameful criminal incident

The minister told the Senate, “This was Brittany Higgins’ story,” and she respected her privacy

She had no light on why her young employee thought she would lose her job if she went to the police

The journalist who broke the story, Samantha Maiden, asked on Twitter why Senator Reynolds called Prime Minister Michaelia Cash’s office in October 2019 to warn of a media poll – without telling Brittany Higgins

A fourth woman has now gone to the media to cover the alleged perpetrator’s unwanted groping on her thigh in a Canberra bar

Two others have detailed their allegations about the man’s sinister mode: he gives them drinks in a bar and then offers them to look after them when they are almost legless

In both cases, they say they were raped when they were passed out – just like Ms. Higgins’ allegations

Pictures on his now-deleted social media pages showed the alleged rapist still fraternizing with his old colleagues, some of whom are currently in the Prime Minister’s office

Minister Reynolds has asked whether she or her staff have given the man references to get the job of lobbyist

Labor asked Mr Morrison whether the “Brittany Higgins suspected rapist” had “at any point since the rape” lobbying meetings with ministers or their staff or department officials

The Prime Minister replied that he did not know but would be “happy to confirm this matter to you and have it dealt with as soon as possible”

Labor’s Penny Wong told the Senate that Ms. Reynolds’ office fired the alleged perpetrator for a security breach, but Ms. Higgins did not She said the obvious conclusion was that sexual assault was known at the time of these decisions

In a statement last Friday, Ms. Higgins said she expected “a voice in defining the scope and scope of a new and meaningful review of the conditions for all ministerial and parliamentary staff”

A now unemployed Ms. Higgins says she has failed repeatedly: “But I now have my voice and I am determined to use it to make sure this never happens to another employee“

Paul Bongiorno AM is a Canberra Press Gallery veteran with 40 years of experience in Australian politics

Brittany Higgins, who is he who raped Brittany Higgins?

World News – AU – Paul Bongiorno: The Brittany Higgins saga shows a runaway government