Australian politicians could be banned from having sex with staff

Andrew Sheargold / Getty Images / File.

An independent federal MP wants the Australian parliament to follow the US Congress in banning sexual relationships between elected representatives and their staff.

Overnight, the US House of Representatives voted to outlaw relationships between elected members of the assembly and their staff.

Cathy McGowan, the federal independent member for Indi, says “there is an opportunity to have a conversation” about relationships in Australia’s national parliament.

“There is a belief the Parliament is behind community expectations and corporate practice,” McGowan said in a statement this afternoon.

“The Parliament is a place of work and good workplace practice includes clear expectations about behaviour.”

She said she was “happy to begin this conversation ahead of potentially tabling a motion in parliament.”

McGowan’s suggestion comes after it was revealed this week that Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce had concealed an affair with a former staffer, who is now pregnant.

The idea has quickly been christened the “bonk ban”.

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