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Grace Tame Questions PM’s Conscience Over Rape Claim

Australian of the Year Grace Tame has pointedly questioned the prime minister's conscience over his recent handling of sexual assault allegations.

The government has been under intense scrutiny for more than two weeks after former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins alleged she was raped by a colleague in Parliament House in 2019.

Mr Morrison said his wife Jenny helped him understand the issue.

"She said to me: 'You have to think about this as a father first. What would you want to happen if it were our girls'," he said at the time.

Ms Tame is a survivor of child sexual abuse and was crowned Australian of the Year for her tireless advocacy on the issue, which resulted in Tasmanian laws being changed so she could speak out.

She is not impressed by Mr Morrison's comments.

"It shouldn't take having children to have a conscience," Ms Tame told the National Press Club on Wednesday.

"And, actually, on top of that, having children doesn't guarantee a conscience."

A senior government minister has also been accused of a brutal historical rape of a woman who has since died.

Journalists were told not to ask Ms Tame about the issue following her address to the National Press Club.

Mr Morrison has so far stood by the accused minister, who denied the allegations to him.

The Australian of the Year was asked if the prime minister was creating an atmosphere where survivors are believed.

"Clearly not," Ms Tame said.

The Tasmanian's confronting speech outlined her experience being abused by a teacher as a high school student, while calling for reform on consent laws and encouraging other survivors to come forward.

She said "cover-up culture" and abuse of power wasn't unique to parliament.

"It happens everywhere."

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AAP.