FEDERAL ministers have been banned from having sexual relations with their staff members under changes to the ministerial code of conduct.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the changes in the wake of the Barnaby Joyce affair.
Mr Turnbull says his deputy Barnaby Joyce made a “shocking error of judgment”, triggering changes to ministerial rules of conduct.
“I have today added to the standards the very clear and unequivocal provision that ministers, regardless of whether they are married or single, must not engage in sexual relations with a staff member,” Mr Turnbull told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.
“Doing so will constitute a breach of the standards.”
Asked why his deputy had not been urged to resign, Mr Turnbull said Mr Joyce had to “consider his own position” as he undertook leave next week.
“Barnaby has acknowledged his fault, his error, his grief about his conduct,” Mr Turnbull said.