Minister for Women Michaelia Cash can expect a few tough days ahead, as can the Turnbull Government.
Or perhaps it’s merely a matter of hours.
Cash, also our Federal Employment Minister and one of very few women on Turnbull’s front bench, is facing calls to resign following the actions of one of her staff members, and allegations she personally misled Parliament.
When raids were carried out on the Australian Workers Union offices earlier this week, it immediately became clear that the media had been tipped off.
It made for some convenient footage for the Turnbull Government, especially given the AWU’s links to Opposition leader Bill Shorten, who was leader of the union a decade ago.
So who was responsible for the tip off?
Last night Senator Cash told Senate Estimates, following sustained questioning, that one of her senior media advisers had alerted journalists prior to the raids.
It happened without her knowledge, she said. The staffer has since stood down.
However, Cash faced a grilling from Labor Senators after the confession, and looks set to face further scrutiny in the hours and days to come — especially as she’d initially refuted any knowledge of the leak coming from her own office.
“Everything I’ve stated is based on the knowledge that I knew at the time,” she said last night.
Earlier in the day, Cash said she rejected the “very serious allegations” and said, “quite frankly, I’m offended on behalf of my staff members as to those allegations.”
I think Senator Cash will be gone from the frontbench by the end of the day #auspol 2/2
— Kieran Gilbert (@Kieran_Gilbert) October 25, 2017
If Cash does go, who’ll step into the Minister for Women’s portfolio?
Unfortunately for the Turnbull Government, there aren’t a whole lot of options unless it reverts back to the farcical position of having a man in the role.