Thursday, 22 February, 2018

Turnbull tells Joyce to 'consider future', issues sex ban

Australian PM bans sex between ministers and staffers Australia PM bans sex between ministers and staff after deputy's “shocking” affair
Sammy Stanley | 15 February, 2018, 17:12

Malcolm Turnbull has announced that, from now, sexual relations between ministers and their staff will be prohibited under a change he has made to the ministerial code of conduct.

"I think we know that the real issue is the bad hurt and humiliation that Barnaby, by his conduct, has visited upon his wife, Natalie, and their daughters and, indeed, his new partner", Mr Turnbull said.

"He has set off a world of woe for those women and appalled all of us", Mr Turnbull said. "They must not have sexual relations with their staff - that's it", he told reporters.

Ministers are now barred from having sex with their staff members, regardless of whether they're married or not.

The Opposition put forward a motion in Parliament this morning to have Mr Joyce sacked on the grounds that the Deputy Prime Minister received a "gift" of free accommodation worth about $12,000.

Malcolm Turnbull has told Barnaby Joyce to "consider his position" during his leave next week as the prime minister relieved him of duties as the nation's acting leader.

Asked twice why Mr Joyce should not resign given the ministerial code was being changed as a result of his behaviour, the Prime Minister noted the Deputy Prime Minister was the leader of the National Party.

He has denied allegations that he had breached guidelines surrounding giving jobs to ministers' partners when Campion was given a promotion past year to leave his office for another government job.

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Opposition parties stepped up their attacks on Mr Joyce on Thursday, calling on him to resign.

This week, most attention has been focused on Barnaby Joyce and his conduct.

He went on to explain how Mr Joyce's upcoming leave would allow him time to prepare for the birth of the child he is expecting with Ms Campion, which is due in less than two months.

Breaching the code of conduct could be grounds for him to be removed from office.

The Nationals leader said the invitation to live in the property came after he was ejected from parliament by the High Court, and therefore was not a minister at the time.

He made a public apology to them on Tuesday and defended the two jobs, one for a minister, that Campion was given after she stopped working for him a year ago. The finance minister, Mathias Cormann, will step in instead. "Probably should have been made a long time ago".

We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

Joyce was due to take over as the acting Prime Minister next week when Turnbull heads to the United States for meetings with President Donald Trump, but Joyce is instead taking a leave of absence to try and avoid his tenure becoming a circus.

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