A Victorian Labor backbencher has been named as the MP accused of having sex in his parliamentary office.
Under parliamentary privilege, Liberal MP James Newbury identified Ringwood MP Dustin Halse as the state government member at the centre of the allegation during a budget committee hearing on Monday.
“The Speaker’s confirmed an investigation into the member for Ringwood bonking in his office,” said Mr Newbury, holding up the Herald Sun‘s front page on the story from earlier this year.
It sparked a fiery exchange in the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearing, with chair Lizzie Blandthorn and other members of the Labor-majority delegation attempting to shut down questions.
“This is a workplace,” committee member Pauline Richards said.
Mr Newbury replied: “Indeed – that’s my point.”
“We know the member for Ringwood’s been bonking in his office and I want an update on where that’s up to.”
Mr Halse was elected in November 2018, reclaiming the seat of Ringwood from the Liberals in Labor’s landslide state election win.
The young MP sits on the Integrity and Oversight Committee.
AAP has sought comment from the Victorian government.
The claims were first raised in March, with News Corp reporting that a government MP allegedly had sex in a parliamentary office last year.
Acting Premier James Merlino described the MPs purported conduct as “inappropriate” in May, saying it had prompted the government to raise concerns with Speaker Colin Brooks.
Mr Merlino said the matter had been dealt with internally by Mr Brooks’ office.
At the same time, Mr Brooks has been leading a cross-party process to develop a new framework for MP conduct including a proposal for an independent complaints process.
“That work is almost finalised,” Mr Merlino said last month.
“It will be responded to by the government and will see some broader change in terms of how we deal with those issues, and I think that’s a good thing.”