Staffers who shared explicit images in Parliament House should 'prepare to pack their bags': Birmingham

The report made stunning claims about sex acts in Parliament House offices. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos
The report made stunning claims about sex acts in Parliament House offices. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said any staffers involved in sharing explicit photos and videos of sex acts inside Parliament House "ought to pack their bags and leave the building for good".

In a shocking report on Monday, Ten News revealed a government staffer filmed himself performing a "solo sex act" on the desk of a female Member of Parliament before sharing it in a group chat.

A group of Coalition staffers also shared explicit images and videos among themselves, including exposing themselves while at work in Parliament House, the report said.

It's been reported one of the staffers involved has already been sacked, hours after the story first aired.

Senator Birmingham was asked about the report at Senate estimates.

"I'm disgusted and appalled at what I see alleged in relation to that story. It shows a complete disregard for all that 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 offices. It equally shows a complete contempt, frankly, for the Australian taxpayers who have paid the wages of such staff."

Senator Birmingham warned the careers of those in the videos, who have not yet been identified, were unlikely to continue.

"In my opinion, any individuals who engaged in such activity ought to prepare to pack their bags and leave the building for good ... they should also think intently about apologising not just to their employing member or senator, but to the Parliament and the Australian public," Mr Birmingham said.

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Minister for Women Marise Payne also slammed the actions of the staffers.

"As a Senator from New South Wales, as a Minister in this government and as a human being, it is appalling. The degrading nature of those actions, which are shown in the media this evening are beyond disappointing and reinforces the imperative of the review that the Sex Discrimination Commissioner will carry out, that the review is needed," Senator Payne said in Senate estimates.

According to the report on Channel Ten and in The Australian, staffers have also ordered sex workers to attend Parliament House for the service of Coalition MPs.

The culture of Parliament House is under investigation by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, after former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins alleged she was raped in Defence Minister Linda Reynolds' office in March 2019. Ms Higgins said she was made to feel she had to choose between keeping her job and reporting the incident to police.

These new revelations, made by an anonymous insider on the television program, point to wider cultural issues among staffers. According to the report, a series of explicit images have been swapped between at least four Coalition staffers.

The identity of the female MP upon whose desk the sex act is alleged to have happened has not been identified, and it has been reported government MPs are unaware of the images being shared.

The program also repeated allegations the Prayer Room, also known as the Meditation Room, was regularly used for sex by staffers and employees in the building.

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This story Staffers who shared explicit images in Parliament House should 'prepare to pack their bags': Birmingham first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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