Statement from Adam Bandt MP, Leader of the Australian Greens:
There is now a dark cloud over the Cabinet and the government.
We need to make Parliament a safe place for women. Parliamentary staff shouldn’t be going to work wondering if they’re working alongside someone who has been accused of such a heinous crime.
The position of the accused means this is a matter of national significance. These are extremely serious and shocking allegations that should be investigated to the fullest possible extent.
The circumstances of this case and the potential difficulties of prosecuting the matter mean the Prime Minister cannot wait for the police investigation alone. The Prime Minister must also conduct his own independent inquiry to determine whether this Minister is fit to be in his cabinet.
If the Prime Minister doesn’t at least stand this man aside while he conducts his own inquiry, then he’s sending the terrible message there is space in his Cabinet for someone with an unresolved rape accusation.