Politics

Graphic images of sex acts inside Parliament House leaked in Peter Van Onselen report

WARNING: Some readers may find the following content distressing

Graphic images and videos of government staffers performing lewd sex acts inside Parliament House in Canberra have been leaked by a whistleblower who says “now is the time to speak up”.

The man, who spoke to Ten News on the condition of anonymity, told the broadcaster that a small group of staffers had set up a Facebook Messenger group which enabled them to share images and video of the lewd acts.

“The culture needs to change and now is the time to speak up, now is the time to put it on the record,” he said.

“It is a culture of men thinking that they can do whatever they want.”

One of the images taken inside Parliament House. Credit: 10 News

He suppled several photographs and videos to the network of men apparently engaged in sex acts, including one which showed a man sitting at a desk, exposing himself next to a copy of the Parliament House rulebook.

In another video, a man points to the desk of a female Liberal MP before performing a solo sex act on it, Ten reports.

The unidentified whistleblower claims a group of coalition staffers also routinely swapped explicit photos of themselves, adding “I have received so many that I’ve just become immune to it”.

An image reportedly showed a staffer performing a sex act on a female MP’s desk.
An image reportedly showed a staffer performing a sex act on a female MP’s desk. Credit: 10 News
File image of Parliament House.
File image of Parliament House. Credit: Getty Images

The man claimed government staffers and MPs also often have sex in a room on the upper level of the building known as the prayer or meditation room.

He added that staffers would often hire sex workers to come into the building for the pleasure of Coalition MPs.

AAP understands one of the staffers has been sacked, with others possibly to follow.

‘Enormous disrespect’

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham called for the immediate sacking of the coalition staffers, telling an estimates hearing on Monday, after the story went to air, that he was “disgusted and appalled”.

“It shows a complete disregard for all our parliamentary democracy stands for,” he said.

“It also demonstrates an enormous disrespect for the employing member or senator in relation to those staff and those officers.

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham (file image)
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham says he’s disgusted and appalled by the allegations. Credit: AAP

“It equally shows a complete contempt for the Australian taxpayers who have paid the wages for such staff and, in my opinion, any individuals who engaged in such activity ought to prepare to pack their bags and leave the building for good.”

Senator Birmingham said the staffers should also apologise to their employer and the Australian public.

He said it further demonstrated the need for the inquiry by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins into parliament’s workplace culture.

“I want to see this sort of behaviour stamped out,” he said.

Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins reacts as she attends the Women's March 4 Justice in Canberra, Monday, March 15, 2021.
Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins reacts as she attends the Women’s March 4 Justice in Canberra, Monday, March 15, 2021. Credit: LUKAS COCH/AAPIMAGE

A debate about political culture in our nation’s capital has unfolded in recent weeks after former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins alleged she was raped by a colleague inside Parliament House in March 2019.

Several inquiries are underway, including a multi-party investigation aimed at ensuring parliament is a safe working environment.

Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins was appointed to head up an independent, cross-party review.

– with AAP

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