Public servant quits over urination claims

A senior public servant has resigned from a federal government agency after being accused of urinating on colleagues.

Under questioning about sexual harassment at the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, chief executive Lisa Croft was asked if she was aware that a male senior staff member had allegedly urinated on colleagues at a work function.

Ms Croft said she had been made aware of a "private urination matter".

"I am aware of an incident that occurred in a private capacity, not at a work function," she told a Senate estimates hearing.

"Individuals raised the matter with me directly."

The authority, which is the Australian government regulator of agricultural and veterinary chemical products, has its headquarters at Armidale in NSW.

Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson told the hearing he was aware of potentially three complaints from female staff members about the alleged incident.

Ms Croft told the hearing that while the people directly involved had wanted her to be aware of the matter, there was no official complaint made.

"I'm not aware of any complaints from those staff members in relation to a sexual harassment matter," she said.

Ms Croft said after discussions with the organisation's human resources team, the staff member resigned from their position.

"Discussions were had in terms of what may be able to be done in relation to the matter, and the staff member resigned very soon after that," she told the hearing.

Ms Croft said she did not speak directly to the executive staff member.

Senator Whish-Wilson said he would be filing further questions to the authority.

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt described the questions as "concerning".

"Certainly it's the first time I've heard about any of them, and I'll be seeking an urgent briefing from my department about it," he said.