Australia promises quick probe into rape allegations

Australia promised on Monday (February 22) to provide quick answers in an investigation into their parliament's workplace culture -

sparked by internal allegations of sexual assault.

Two female workers in Prime Minister Scott Morrison's Liberal party said last week they had been raped by the same man in 2019 and 2020.

The unnamed man is a former Liberal party worker.

Local media reported on Monday a third accusation against him, fueling pressure on the country's leadership.

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham is leading the internal inquiry.

"Obviously all of these allegations are incredibly traumatic and distressing and underpin the crucial work that needs to be undertaken to give all women, all people, confidence in relation to the processes and procedures that are there to enable and to support them to report such instances, such that perpetrators and defenders can be brought to justice."

None of theaccusers have formally filed a police complaint, but one, Brittany Higgins, has spoken publicly about her alleged rape and last week said she would file a complaint soon.

The third woman, who was unnamed, told local media that she had been assaulted in 2016.

"I believe his actions constitute sexual assault, because he performed or tried to perform sexual acts on me while I was severely intoxicated and unable to provide valid and informed consent."

She added the incident happened outside parliament.

Morrison said he first learned of the alleged complaints last week, and quickly launched the workplace culture inquiry in response to public outrage.