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Australian of the Year Grace Tame slams Christian Porter being acting government leader in House

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Extraordinary moment Australian of the Year Grace Tame declares on ABC’s 7.30 that Christian Porter SHOULDN’T be promoted by the government – just because he was ACCUSED of rape

  • Australian of the Year Grace Tame against Christian Porter’s parliamentary role
  • The former attorney-general is filling in for Peter Dutton as Leader of the House
  • Ms Tame, 26, likened him resuming old role to hiring babysitter under a cloud
  • Mr Porter vehemently denied historic 1988 rape claims and was never charged 
  • He was demoted as chief law officer after suing the ABC over an online story 

Australian of the Year Grace Tame has likened the idea of cabinet minister Christian Porter’s temporary promotion to hiring a babysitter – even though he was never charged with any crime.

The 26-year-old advocate for survivors of sexual assault has taken issue with the Liberal frontbencher filling in for Defence Minister Peter Dutton as government Leader of the House following a Covid scare in Brisbane.

Mr Porter, 51, was demoted from the prestigious post of attorney-general in March after friends of a dead woman accused him of raping her in January 1988 at a university intervarsity debating tournament in Sydney.

The Liberal minister from Perth was never charged with any criminal offence and vehemently denied the claims.

A woman, who was at that debating tournament 33 years ago, spoke with New South Wales police last year but never made a complaint about Mr Porter. 

She took her own life in June 2020.

Australian of the Year Grace Tame (pictured) has likened the idea of cabinet minister Christian Porter's temporary promotion to hiring a babysitter - even though he was never charged with any crime

Australian of the Year Grace Tame (pictured) has likened the idea of cabinet minister Christian Porter’s temporary promotion to hiring a babysitter – even though he was never charged with any crime

Despite that, Ms Tame likened Mr Porter temporarily resuming his old role as Leader of the House, during this fortnight of Parliament in Canberra, to the idea of hiring a babysitter with a cloud hanging over them.

‘I believe in the presumption of innocence as well but also the law is the bare minimum standard,’ she told the ABC’s 7.30 program.

‘One can be a law-abiding citizen and also hold outmoded views and behave according to those outmoded views. 

‘Furthermore, this isn’t just any position, this is a position of public trust and if I were to personally be picking somebody for a position such as this or even say picking a baby-sitter for my children, if I was, if I had the choice between an accused rapist and a whole bunch of other people who were not accused rapists, I would probably pick one of the not accused rapists.’

ABC 7.30’s fill-in host Laura Tingle asked Ms Tame to clarify her point but didn’t challenge on the assertion someone needed to be treated as if they were innocent until proven guilty.

‘So your issue is really with the choice made by the Prime Minister, not with Christian Porter?’

The 26-year-old advocate for survivors of sexual assault has taken issue with the Liberal frontbencher (pictured is Christian Porter in the House of Representatives) filling in for Defence Minister Peter Dutton as government Leader of the House following a Covid scare in Brisbane.

The 26-year-old advocate for survivors of sexual assault has taken issue with the Liberal frontbencher (pictured is Christian Porter in the House of Representatives) filling in for Defence Minister Peter Dutton as government Leader of the House following a Covid scare in Brisbane.

Ms Tame replied: ‘That’s right. This is not about Christian Porter’s character; this is about the morality of our current leadership.’

Mr Porter was Leader of the House from May 2019, after the election, until March this year.

He had been a senior prosecutor before serving as attorney-general in both Western Australia and federally.

While Prime Minister Scott Morrison stood by Mr Porter, he demoted him on March 30 from being attorney-general to Industry, Science and Technology Minister because his legal action against the ABC compromised his role as Australia’s chief law officer.

While Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured with Grace Tame on January 25) stood by Mr Porter, he demoted him on March 30 from being attorney-general to Industry, Science and Technology Minister because his legal action against the ABC compromised his role as Australia's chief law officer

While Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured with Grace Tame on January 25) stood by Mr Porter, he demoted him on March 30 from being attorney-general to Industry, Science and Technology Minister because his legal action against the ABC compromised his role as Australia’s chief law officer

The Morrison Government minister on May 31 dropped his case against the ABC after reaching a settlement with the national broadcaster over a February 26 article written by Four Corners reporter Louise Milligan.

The ABC was forced to say it ‘regrets’ that the report could be ‘misinterpreted’ as making an accusation that Mr Porter was guilty of a historical rape, which he has vehemently denied.

But it didn’t remove the article.

While Mr Porter withdrew his defamation case against the ABC, both the minister and the national broadcaster face legal costs in the hundreds of thousands. 

Since being named as Australian of the Year, Ms Tame has been a critic of Mr Morrison.

The Australian of the Year was raped by a teacher when she was 15 and used her experience to successfully challenge, in the Tasmanian Supreme Court, laws that had banned sexual survivors from publicly talking about their experience. 

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