AN emotional Scott Morrison has addressed allegations of Liberal staffers being involved in committing lewd sex acts in Parliament House, declaring the culture in Canberra and across country must change.
It follows a Channel 10 report on Monday night, which aired allegations of inappropriate behaviour by some Liberal staff members at Parliament House in Canberra.
“I am shocked, and I am disgusted. It is shameful,” Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.
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Four staffers were reportedly involved with obtaining and sharing videos and images of sexual encounters inside the building, with one allegedly committing a lewd act on the desk of a female Liberal MP.
“I was completely stumped, as I have been on more than one occasion over the course of this last month,” Mr Morrison said.
“We must get this house in order.”
It’s not the first scandal to engulf Canberra in recent weeks, with senior government Ministers and staff coming under immense pressure following former staffer Brittany Higgins rape allegations and the sexual assault allegations levelled against Federal Attorney General Christian Porter.
The Prime Minister has admitted shortfalls in his response to the recent allegations, after coming under intense pressure from opposite sides of politics as well as the general public.
“I acknowledge that many have not liked or unappreciated some of my own personal responses to this over the course of the last month, I accept that.”
“I acknowledge that many Australians, especially women, believe that I have not heard them,
and that greatly distresses me.
“I have had many friends and others that I have regular contact with, talk with me openly about the issues, other traumatic things that they have had to deal with over their lifetimes.
“I have heard about being marginalised, women being intimidated, women being belittled, women being diminished, and women being objectified. That is not OK.
“Whether this is unconscious deafness and blindness, or whether it is willful malevolence that is behind all of this, it must be acknowledged, it must be called out and it must stop.
“This is not something that is of a scale that any government can simply change, it is something we must change as a society because we know it happens all over this country,” he said.
Mr Morrison became emotional while talking about his wife and daughters, saying he has the “deepest of vested interests” in changing the toxic culture.
“Criticise me if you like for speaking about my daughters, but they are the centre of my life,” he said through tears.
“My wife is the centre of my life. My mother, my widowed mother, is the centre of my life. They motivate me every day on this issue.
“They have motivated me my entire life, they have taught me the values and the faith has sustains me every single day in this job. I owe them everything.”
The staff member accused of filming themselves committing a lewd act on a female MP’s desk has been sacked. There are further calls for those who also knew about or were involved in other similar acts to also be sacked.