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The Project's Lisa Wilkinson has unleashed on Liberal senator Jane Hume over the secrecy surrounding Rachelle Miller's taxpayer-funded compensation payout.
Rachelle is the former staffer and mistress of Alan Tudge, who accused the Liberal MP of abusing her during their relationship. She has since alleged another Liberal politician sexually harassed her over a decade ago, which was settled with a payout of over $500,000, the ABC reports.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed on Sunday that details of the payout will not be publicly released, leaving The Project hosts outraged.
During the interview with Hume, Lisa said Australians have the right to know more details about the settlement, given the upcoming election on May 21.
"This is taxpayer money that is being paid out," Lisa said. "Shouldn't voters, as we head into this election, know who that other MP is (who's involved in the situation) and what's been alleged before they cast their vote at the ballot box?"
However, the senator believes the details should remain private, saying, "My understanding Lisa, and I should make very clear that no minister, no member of the government is privy to any claims that are made to Comcare by anyone … anything we say is simply speculation.
"It's really important that those conversations or any claim made with Comcare, which let's face it is a worker's compensation claim, remain private. And that's the way it should be."
Veteran journalist, Ray Martin, who was co-hosting for the night jumped in, "Half a million dollars of taxpayers' money, shouldn't we have the right to know?"
"Whatever the situation is that has given rise to those claims is between Comcare and between Rachelle Miller," Hume responded. "No minister, no member of the government has any eyes in to what it is that that claim has been about."
Hamish MacDonald agreed with his co-hosts and questioned, "So the public doesn't deserve to know, we should vote at this election with no knowledge of who this person is what they did."
Liberal Senator @SenatorHume tells us why the government failed to establish a federal integrity commission and why she believes Katherine Deves should remain the party's candidate for Warringah. pic.twitter.com/LBoaKQe0Ki
— The Project (@theprojecttv) April 17, 2022
"Which does cast a pall over all Liberal MPs who are standing right now," Lisa added.
Senator Hume called the hosts' claims "unreasonable", adding, "We know the report has exonerated Alan Tudge of any wrongdoing. Whatever this claim is about is between Rachelle Miller and between her Comcare claim."
"And half a million dollars worth of taxpayer funds, senator -," Lisa attempted to cut in.
"This happens all the time, you know Lisa," Hume snapped.
"Well, that's really sad," Lisa interrupted as the Senator pointed out that other people make Comcare claims.
"Except we're not voting for them to be in our federal parliament," she fired back, ending the interview.
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