ACT Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold has received a brief of evidence relating to the alleged rape of former ministerial staffer Brittany Higgins.
The allegations that Higgins had been sexually assaulted by a colleague in Parliament House in 2019 first emerged on February 15. Higgins made a formal statement to the Australian Federal Police later that month, initiating an investigation into the incident.
While Higgins had initially approached police regarding the incident back in 2019, she had prevented them from investigating out of fear for her job.
Last month AFP commissioner Reece Kershaw told Senate Estimates that the DPP was was ‘likely’ to receive a brief of evidence on the Higgins case.
Drumgold on Monday confirmed he had received a partial brief of evidence, as well as a request to provide advice on any prosecution.
Earlier this month a review into the handling of workplace complaints at Parliament House — which was sparked by Higgins’ allegations — found the current complaints processes were ‘not fit for purpose’ when it comes to dealing with serious incidents such as sexual assault.
The review revealed that the Department of Finance’s Ministerial and Parliamentary Services team has received 76 complaints since July 2017, with seven of those having been referred to an external investigation.
- PM&C official’s review calls for trauma-informed complaints processes at Parliament House
- Brittany Higgins slams lack of departmental action following alleged rape
- Fifth woman makes complaint against former Liberal staffer
- Disgrace in the House: who said and did what, where and when