PM pledges to improve conditions for women

·3-min read

Scott Morrison has expressed shock and disgust at more revelations of sleazy behaviour inside Parliament House, promising to do more to improve workplace conditions for women.

A coalition staff member has been sacked for performing a lewd sex act inside the office of a female Liberal MP.

"I am shocked, and disgusted. It is shameful," the prime minister told reporters in Canberra.

Mr Morrison said it was the latest in a string of disturbing revelations over the past five weeks, since former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins went public with rape allegations.

"These events have triggered, right across this building and indeed right across the country, women who have put up with this rubbish and this crap for their entire lives, as their mothers did, as their grandmothers did."

Mr Morrison met with all coalition staff to discuss behavioural issues on Tuesday afternoon.

He indicated the government was looking at mandatory work health and safety training for all coalition staff, and registers of who had completed the training.

It is also looking at setting up new coalition staff human resources groups.

Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins also addressed the coalition party room, saying her Respect@Work report - released a year ago - provided a way forward.

Minister for Women Marise Payne said the government would respond in coming weeks.

One of the most senior women in the Morrison government says she has had a gutful of unacceptable behaviour by coalition staff.

Industry Minister Karen Andrews says other individuals involved in the scandal should stop hiding and leave.

"I have had an absolute gutful and my conscience will not allow me to remain quiet," she told reporters.

"There are some specific instances in this building that are absolutely unacceptable. What does it say about an individual that thinks that sort of behaviour is OK?"

However, assistant minister Michelle Landry said while the behaviour was unacceptable, she felt bad for the staff member who was sacked.

"The young fellow concerned was a good worker and he loved the place," the Nationals MP told reporters outside Parliament House.

"I feel bad for him about this, but it's unacceptable behaviour by anyone and it should not happen in workplaces like this."

Labor senator Kristina Keneally was incredulous.

"How about feeling bad for the cleaners who had to come in and clean up after that disgusting mess?" she told reporters.

"How about feeling bad for a female MP whose desk was disrespected?"

Network Ten has obtained images and videos filmed inside parliament involving four coalition staff members.

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham, whose department manages much of Parliament House, said their conduct was revolting.

"Amongst a small number, there is clearly a disgusting and unacceptable culture, and we have to weed it out," Senator Birmingham told the ABC.

"One employee was dismissed last night, and if others are identified as being engaged in similar activity, they will be dismissed as well."

Senator Birmingham has contacted the journalist who reported the story and requested the whistleblower help the government identify the three other staffers allegedly involved.