Minister for Women Marise Payne has pointed to the investigation into Parliament as a workplace for staffers by the Sex Discrimination Commissioner when asked whether an independent inquiry should be called into the rape allegation against Attorney-General Christian Porter.
Calls are continuing for such an inquiry to take place, after NSW Police said it would not be proceeding with an investigation into the allegation that dates back to 1988, due to a lack of admissible evidence.
"We have very well-established judicial and legal processes in this country to deal with matters of criminal allegation," Senator Payne said on Monday.
"Those processes have been under way in law enforcement agencies in New South Wales and have been concluded by those agencies. Whether others take place, including in South Australia, will be a matter for officials and not a matter for politicians of any sort, to engage in or to comment on."
Senator Payne then went on to point to the independent inquiry into parliament as a workplace, to be undertaken by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins.
"That review will be absolutely vital for addressing the system and the environment and the cultures that exist within Parliament House. I have complete confidence in this Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins and the work that she does and look forward to supporting that in across party, non-partisan, and very constructive way."
Pushed again on whether the allegations by the woman, who is deceased, would be ignored, Senator Payne again referred to the workplace inquiry, before conceding the inquiry wouldn't cover the historical allegation.
"I don't think anyone would suggest that the issues raised by the person concerned are being ignored in any way, shape or form," Senator Payne said.
"In fact, those issues that she has raised, issues that have been raised within the Parliament are issues of national discourse, of national concern."
The Morrison government will continue facing questions about rape allegations levelled at the attorney-general unless an independent investigation occurs, the opposition argues.
Attorney-General Christian Porter is on leave after vehemently denying allegations he raped a woman more than 30 years ago in Sydney.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese is pushing for an independent investigation into what happened.
"The government will continue to face questions over the issue unless an independent investigation occurs," he told reporters in Sydney on Monday.
According to the ABC on Monday, the woman spoke to a counsellor in 2013 about being sexually assaulted in 1988 at the age of 16.
The counsellor has told the broadcaster's Four Corners program the woman was torn about pursuing the matter because it could ruin the man's life.
The pair reportedly talked about the positive and negative outcomes of seeking justice and whether it was worth it to take it to court.
The counsellor told the ABC the woman went away and "was going to sit on that. She obviously sat on it for about five years".
- with AAP
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