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Scott Morrison to meet Brittany Higgins


Prime Minister Scott Morrison will meet with former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins, more than two months after she went public with allegations she was raped in Parliament House in 2019.

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Higgins says she was sexually assaulted by a fellow ministerial adviser in Parliament House while she was working for the coalition government in 2019.

The prime minister said a location for the private meeting was yet to be confirmed.

“I’m looking forward to meeting with Brittany,” Morrison told reporters in Perth on Wednesday.

“I know there are a range of issues she’s relayed to my chief of staff that she would like to raise and I look forward to hearing her.”

Late last month, the prime minister offered to meet Higgins after weeks of immense political pressure stemming from her allegations.

In response, she said she was unaware Mr Morrison was willing to discuss her concerns about how the incident was handled.

“I welcome the opportunity to meet the prime minister to discuss how the workplace culture in Parliament House can be improved,” she said at the time.

Higgins triggered national debate about the treatment of women and the handling of sexual assault complaints.

She has been highly critical of senior ministers’ response to her initial complaint, which has been reinstated with police.

The prime minister has instigated an inquiry into whether his office was briefing journalists against Ms Higgins’ partner in an attempt to discredit and undermine her.

Linda Reynolds, the minister whose parliamentary office was the site of the alleged attack, told 6PR radio she was assisting police with their inquiries.

“The AFP are investigating her allegations and I am assisting the AFP with their investigation.”

She said cultural change and improved behaviour was needed in Parliament House.

“Across all parties we have got a lot of work to do to really make some significant change in how our parliament operates.”

Meanwhile, it’s been revealed Higgins has signed a deal to write a memoir of her experiences.

Penguin Random House Australia called Higgins “a young, brave voice and a pioneer for a new generation” and said it would publish her book in 2022.

“Brittany’s story, in her own words, will be a call for desperately needed reform, and a watershed moment for Australian women in public life,” the publisher said.

“This book will shine a light on the toxic workplace culture inside the corridors of power and provide a first-hand account of what it was like surviving a media storm that turned into a movement,” Higgins said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

She said half of the royalties of each book will be donated to the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre.

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