Steps Taken in Response to Anonymous Letter

27 February 2021

This week my office received an anonymous letter which was also addressed to the Prime Minister and Senator Hanson-Young.

The contents of the letter, and an attachment which appears to be a statement prepared by the complainant, relate to an allegation of rape.

The woman who made this allegation died in June 2020.

I understand the complainant reported this allegation to the NSW Police Force and South Australia Police. I have forwarded the letter to the NSW Police Force, South Australia Police and the Australian Federal Police to assist in any investigations which may be underway.

I have also written to the Prime Minister and Senator Hanson-Young to outline the steps I have taken following receipt of this anonymous letter.

I have previously contacted South Australia Police to offer my assistance in the Coronial Investigation into the complainant’s death and have extended that offer to any further investigation by authorities.

I first became aware of the complainant’s allegation when I ran into her in Adelaide in November 2019. The complainant reminded me we had met once before.

The complainant made an allegation that she had been raped many years earlier by a person who is now a senior member of the Federal Government. She indicated she intended to report the matter to NSW Police.

I said that making a report to the appropriate authorities was the right thing to do. I facilitated her referral to rape support services and confirmed she was being supported in reporting the matter to NSW Police.

The death of the woman who made this allegation is a tragedy, and devastating for everyone who knew and loved her. The woman, and her family and friends, have been in my thoughts throughout.

I issue this statement in the interests of transparency, and in the hope that appropriate action is taken to examine her allegation, the circumstances of her death and what can and should be done to help keep people safe and save lives in the future.

Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.