Ministers banned from having sexual relationships with staffers

Federal Ministers will be banned from having sexual relationships with staffers under changes to the Ministerial Code of Conduct.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the changes in the wake of Barnaby Joyce’s affair with former media advisor Vikki Campion.

Mr Turnbull was scathing in his assessment of Mr Joyce’s personal dramas.


“The real issue is the terrible hurt and humiliation that Barnaby, by his conduct, has visited upon his wife, Natalie, and their daughters and, indeed, his new partner, Barnaby made a shocking error of judgement,” Mr Turnbull said.

“In having an affair with a young woman working in his office. In doing so, he has set off a world of woe for those women and appalled all of us.”

The new rules banning sexual relationships with staffers will apply whether a Minister is married or not.

“In 2018 it is not acceptable for a Minister to have a sexual relationship with somebody who works for them, it is a very bad workplace practice,” Mr Turnbull said.

The Prime Minister insists he won’t be asking for Mr Joyce to resign, saying it’s up to him to consider his position.


Mr Joyce will take personal leave next week which will prevent him from being Acting Prime Minister while Malcolm Turnbull is in the United States.

Mathias Cormann will take on the role, with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop also out of the country.