Scott Morrison and Senator Anne Ruston, who is the Coalition campaign spokesperson, have both stated the $500,000 that will be paid to Rachelle Miller is for a separate matter other than the ones that were the subject of the Thom Inquiry which means it has to be for the alleged sexual harassment / sexual assault by federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
On the 11th of April, Anne Rushton said on ABC radio “the payout was not related to the misconduct allegations raised by Miller but “a separate matter” and on the 17th of April, the AFR published an article titled “Rachelle Miller’s taxpayer-funded payout not about Tudge: PM”. Both Scott Morrison and Anne Rushton refused to answer further questions claiming they did not know what the “separate matter” the $500,000 payment was for which is not believable.
The problem for Scott Morrison, Anne Rushton and the media claiming they don’t know what the “separate matter” is that it is not too hard to put all the various news reports together to tell the full story and that is what I have done below:
Quick outline of events
On the 9th of November 2020, Rachelle Miller told her story on the Four Corners programme, in an episode called Inside the Canberra Bubble, of her affair with federal MP Alan Tudge, who was her boss at the time, and her treatment after the affair finished. The government did not take any action except to attack the ABC.
On the 28th of February 2021, it was reported that “Former Liberal staffer Rachelle Miller has engaged lawyers to bring a workplace harassment suit against the now education minister, Alan Tudge, and employment minister, Michaelia Cash.” (Click here to read more)
On the 2nd of December 2021, Rachelle Miller made new claims against Alan Tudge, that he was abusive, and Mr Tudge was stood aside as federal education minister and Scott Morrison announced an investigation to be carried out by the former bureaucrat Vivienne Thom. (Click here to read more)
On the 30th of January 2022, Rachelle Miller published reasons on Twitter why she would not participate in the Thom Inquiry which included but was not limited to “because she did not think it was an independent and serious investigation and would not investigate allegations that “might amount to criminal conduct”.” (Click here to see Rachelle Miller’s full letter in my previous article on this matter)
On the 4th of March 2022, the Thom Inquiry report was handed to the government and Prime Minister Scott Morrison published a media statement that said:
Dr Thom found that ‘the evidence considered in this Inquiry does not provide a basis for a finding that Mr Tudge’s conduct breached the Ministerial Standards’. I have accepted her advice. (Click here to see the full statement)
On the 11th of April 2022, it was reported that “Alan Tudge’s ex-lover Rachelle Miller to secure over $500,000 for affair with Liberal minister” by Samantha Maiden. (Click here to read more)
While the $500,000 might be right the reason for the payment as reported by Samantha Maiden “for affair with Liberal minister” is wrong given other media reports and statements by Scott Morrison and Anne Ruston.
On the 11th of April 2022, Anne Rushton said on ABC radio: “the payout was not related to the misconduct allegations raised by Miller but “a separate matter” and “I don’t have any knowledge of the particular issue that has been raised,” and “My understanding is the matter is not related to the issues that were the subject of the Thom inquiry, which found Mr Tudge had not breached ministerial standards. My understanding is it’s a separate matter that’s being handled by the Department of Finance and you’ll need to direct your questions to them.” (Click here to listen to the full interview on ABC radio)
On the 13th of April 2022, Rachelle Miller’s lawyers published an email sent to the government lawyers releasing the government from the non-disclosure agreement so Scott Morrison could answer media questions on the issue. (Click here to see the email)
On the 16th of April 2022, The Saturday Paper published an article titled “Exclusive: Harassment claims against another Liberal MP” by Karen Middleton which starts off:
As a former government staffer moves to settle a $500,000 complaint over mistreatment, new details emerge of sexual harassment she allegedly suffered from another Liberal MP.
The former government staffer who accused senior Liberal MP Alan Tudge of abusing her during a past consensual affair has alleged that another Liberal politician sexually harassed her at Parliament House more than a decade ago.
The account is understood to form part of a negotiated settlement with the Commonwealth, reported to be worth more than $500,000. The government has declined to confirm details of the payment or explain why it was being made.
Rachelle Miller’s allegations go beyond those she has levelled against Tudge, which he denies. They are understood to include a specific historical allegation of sexual harassment against a different Liberal MP who is still in federal parliament. The incident is alleged to have occurred in 2010. (Click here to read more. It is behind a paywall)
On the 17th of April 2022, the AFR published an article titled “Rachelle Miller’s taxpayer-funded payout not about Tudge: PM”. which started off:
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has suggested that Rachelle Miller’s $500,000 taxpayer-funded payout cannot involve stood-down Education Minister Alan Tudge because otherwise he would have been made aware of it.
This week it emerged that Mr Tudge’s former staffer, Ms Miller, was set to be paid a $500,000 taxpayer-funded settlement by the federal government. Mr Morrison has refused to answer questions about the payout, saying it was a confidential process managed by the Department of Finance. (Click here to read more. It is behind a paywall)
On the 17th of April 2022, the ABC published an article titled “Rachelle Miller, who accused Alan Tudge of bullying during relationship, makes historical claim against another Liberal MP” which said:
“The former government staffer who accused senior Liberal MP Alan Tudge of abusing her while in a consensual relationship, has alleged another Liberal politician sexually harassed her more than a decade ago.
The ABC has confirmed Rachelle Miller made the new allegations in a workplace claim, as first reported by the Saturday Paper, with a negotiated settlement expected to be more than $500,000. (Click here to read more)
At this point we know there has been a payment figure of $500,000 plus legal fees agreed to but likely not yet paid and we know from The Saturday Paper that the sexual harassment allegation forms part of the settlement. That is consistent with statements from Scott Morrison and Anne Ruston that the settlement has nothing to do with Alan Tudge.
We also know from Rachelle Miller’s public statement that the Thom Inquiry “would not investigate allegations that “might amount to criminal conduct”. So what would constitute sexual harassment and “might amount to criminal conduct”?
On the 4th of May 2022, the True Crimes News Weekly website published an article which said Rachelle Miller accused Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg of kissing and groping her when she was a junior staffer and that Scott Morrison is trying to cover it up by refusing to release a government report (Thom Inquiry). (Click here to read more)
That seems to be the perfect fit. Kissing and groping is sexual harassment and also “might amount to criminal conduct” and explains why such a huge settlement of $500,000 plus six figures for legal fees. Rachelle Miller’s lawyer wrote “might amount to criminal conduct” and they are normally conservative. Unwanted kissing in the workplace, by a Member of Parliament, by itself would be a criminal offence of assault so whatever the groping was would just be further evidence of the criminal offence and may even be an additional charge.
On the 5th of May 2022, I published an article titled “Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg refuses to deny kissing and groping Rachelle Miller without her consent when she was a junior staffer” (Click here to read the article)
This article is important for numerous reasons, but a couple of the key reasons are that it shows the government has to know that the $500,000 was paid to cover up sexual assault allegations against Josh Frydenberg and the government and media are continuing to cover it up.
Also, a few Liberal Party supporter trolls are attacking reports that the MP involved is Josh Frydenberg. But even if that report was wrong other media such as The Saturday Paper and ABC have reported sexual harassment allegations were made against a current MP and The Saturday Paper said that was part of the settlement and no one, including Scott Morrison and the government, have disputed that. So, at worst it’s not Josh Frydenberg but another Liberal MP sitting in parliament who has committed sexual assault at parliament house. Frydenberg could correct the mistake, if it was a mistake, anytime he wants but he has chosen not to as I pointed out in more detail in my last article.
This is another crime, on a long list, by a federal government MP where Scott Morrison and his government claim they know nothing but as the above shows it is a blatant lie.
All the old media are refusing to grill Scott Morrison and the government about $500,000 of taxpayer’s money being paid to cover up a federal MP, Josh Frydenberg, sexually assaulting a junior staffer because the media knows that will almost certainly cost the government seats at the election.
This story will be massive once it blows and the current cover-up by the politicians and media will be a central reason why it will be such a huge story. There can be no doubt that all federal politicians and media know the full story but they aren’t talking. So, that is one of the reasons why in this post I outlined who knew what and when, including media such as the ABC, News Corp and Nine, which shows their future denials of knowing anything will not be plausible in any way.
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Categories: Prime Minister Scott Morrison