The ex-deputy leader of the Liberal party has weighed in on the rape allegations rocking Canberra, backing calls for a coronial inquest.
Julie Bishop appeared on ABC’s 7.30 with Leigh Sales last night, as part of an International Women’s Day program.
Ms Bishop addressed the historic rape allegations made against the Attornery General Christian Porter, and has backed a coronial inquest as the next course of action.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
“This is such a difficult area and I feel so unspeakably sad for everyone involved,’’ she said.
“And there are families and friends who are still suffering and there will be trauma for some time. The challenge of course is that the allegations are historic, that the woman who made the allegations took her own life, and now a serving cabinet minister has been informed that the police investigation is at an end. So, there are no answers.
“I do know, however, that the South Australian coroner is considering an inquest and to me that is the next logical step.
“It’s within the criminal justice system. There are checks and balances and there are statutory powers. It has legal standing.
“And so, that is the next step and I understand from media reporting that’s what the family would welcome.
Related article: Attorney-General Christian Porter denies sexual assault allegations
When addressing the more recent allegation that a former staffer hade been sexually assaulted in the Defence Minister Linda Reynold’s office, Ms Bishop said she’s suprised by how the matter was dealt with.
“If someone had come to me with an allegation that a rape occurred … I would have felt a duty, not only to that person, but to others in the workplace to inform the police.
“If the person making the complaint wanted privacy, wanted to maintain utmost confidentiality, that is a matter that person should raise with the police or with their lawyers, in a discussion with the police,” Ms Bishop said.