Grace Tame Sums Up How We All Feel About The PM Promoting An Alleged Rapist

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Grace Tame calls it as she sees it, and her latest swipe at the government sums up exactly what we're all thinking. On Wednesday, the sexual assault survivor and Australian of the Year blasted the government's decision to promote Christian Porter to the role of acting leader of the House of Representatives for the week, despite previous allegations of rape – which he has denied – being levelled against him.
In a powerful piece published in the Sydney Morning Herald, the 26-year-old labelled Porter's promotion as a "proverbial slap in the face of our entire nation" at a time when women's rights and sexual abuse are at the forefront of discussion.
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Tame said it's not only Porter's promotion that's "hard to process", but the integrity and structure of decision-making within Australia's government. She asked why outside of parliament "people of public trust" must be deemed "fit and proper" for a role governed by particularly high standards, but in Canberra, it's a different story. The double standards are difficult to ignore.
"It is the Prime Minister who sets the standards and maintains them by appointing cabinet ministers at his or her discretion," she said. "Given the seriousness of the allegations against Porter, the bare minimum test of his fitness to hold ministerial office would be an independent inquiry. How damning it is that the government refused to allow for one."
In April, the PM met with former government staffer Brittany Higgins – who alleges she was raped by a colleague in a minister's office two years ago – to discuss how parliamentary workplaces can be made safer and more respectful. Morrison has publicly said he wants to support survivors and protect women's safety, yet Tame said that is contradicted by him promoting Porter.
"Clearly, it has been nothing but lip service. His actions speak volumes that drown out his every word," she wrote. "And now, not only has Porter been permitted to remain in office, he’s been temporarily elevated. His are circumstances steeped in the protective privileges of a patriarchal Parliament."
In March, Porter was asked to step down as attorney-general after the ABC published a report into an alleged rape of a minor in 1998 by a serving cabinet minister. Porter wasn't named in the report, however, he identified himself as the alleged person and denied the claims. He then sued the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan for defamation but discontinued legal action in May.
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In March, the PM dismissed calls for an inquiry into the historical rape allegation, as well as an independent inquiry into seeing if Porter "is a fit and proper person to hold any Ministerial position”.
On Tuesday it was announced Porter would be filling in as leader of the House of Representatives this week while Peter Dutton is in quarantine for two weeks after his sons were involved in Queensland's COVID-19 outbreak.
It may only be a few days, but as Tame put it, "this appointment is an insult to all survivors, and indeed the whole country."

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