CANBERRA, March 28 (Xinhua) — Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has admitted to his government’s failings on tackling sexism, local media reported on Sunday, after allegations of rape, sexual harassment, bullying and misogyny since late February rocked the government.
Morrison recently has faced criticism of handling of the rape allegation against a former staffer and the historical rape allegation denied by Attorney-General Christian Porter.
In an address to 400 government staff, Morrison acknowledged that some staff had “put up with some absolute rubbish.”
In his speech to staffers, audio of which was published by Nine Entertainment newspapers on Sunday, Morrison flagged significant changes to the Parliament’s workplace culture.
“This has been a traumatic month, that is true, but for many here it has been a traumatic lifetime,” he said. “So we will get on and address this. We will get on and make these changes. I ask you to work with us as we do that.”
Deputy PM Michael McCormack apologized three times in a five-minute address during the meeting, which took place on Tuesday.
On Sunday David Littleproud, the Minister for Agriculture, said that government employees were hurting.
“There’s a lot of hurt. My staff are hurt,” he told Sky News. “You can’t live and work in an environment like this and not be disappointed. They feel let down, and we get that, for that we’re sorry.”
Attorney-General Christian Porter and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds have taken medical leave and are likely to be demoted within days. One staffer has been already fired amid the crisis.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has reported that it is expected that Michaelia Cash, the minister for employment, will take over as the attorney-general and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton as the defence minister. Enditem