Calls are mounting for widespread cultural change in Parliament House, after two senior Coalition ministers were embroiled in a sex scandal.
The ABC's Four Corners program aired allegations on Monday night that acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge had an affair with his media advisor Rachelle Miller.
Ms Miller also told the program she witnessed Attorney-General Christian Porter kissing a staffer at Public Bar in Manuka.
The events were in part why former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull instituted his infamous bonk ban in 2018, which at the time was believed to be targeted at then deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce who was exposed as having an affair with his media advisor Vikki Campion.
Mr Tudge said he regretted his actions and the hurt he had caused his family and Ms Miller "immensely".
Mr Porter has said he is considering his legal options and rejected the allegations in the program.
However he repeatedly refused to answer when asked if he'd ever had an intimate relationship with a staffer during an interview on Perth radio station 6PR.
Former Labor MP Emma Husar, who was forced to quit amid allegations bullying and harassment but later cleared after an internal investigation, said it was the "tip of the iceberg".
"There's a great deal of 'talking the talk' that politicians do around expected standard. Truth be told they don't hold themselves to the same levels," Ms Husar said.
"Not everyone in Canberra behaves in this way however those who don't speak up, who become effective bystanders in this culture are part of the problem."
Labor senator Jenny McAllister said it was time for change.
"We know discrimination and harassment of women at work is a widespread problem and it would be a mistake to believe that the Parliament or any other workplace is immune," Senator McAllister said.
"No matter what side of politics you're from, staffers working here should feel safe and supported but as suggested on last night's program this may not be the experience of many working in this building and this parliament needs to commit in a bipartisan way to make this workplace better.
"This is a workplace that is significant to us but it is significant to all Australians. It is a workplace owned, it is the property of the Australian people and we have an obligation to make it the best place it can possibly be."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison hit out at the program for focusing on Coalition ministers.
He said all senior politicians, regardless of party, should be held to the same standards as ministers.
"I would invite the leaders of other political parties in this place to ensure that their staff have the same protection that staff in my minister's offices have," Mr Morrison said.
But the program also raised concerns about the power imbalances between ministers and their staff.
Ms Miller said after her affair with Mr Tudge ended, she went to work in another minister's office. However she was later demoted in a restructure and felt she had no option but to leave politics.
"I lost a lot of self-confidence because I didn't feel I had any power at all to be able to stand up for myself," she told the program.
"Where there's significant power imbalances with senior ministers and perhaps junior staff, I think that absolutely there needs to be an acknowledgement that that sort of behaviour is not okay."
Ministerial staff are employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act, which gives the employing senators, members and officeholders the ability to terminate their employment at any time.
Paula McDonald, who is a professor of work and organisation in the QUT Business School, said this could make staffers more vulnerable in these situations.
However she said the bonk ban was not a good solution.
"It's very problematic, I think, to outright ban relationships between consenting adults in the workplace, but that there should be a range of processes that are put in place in order to prevent the worst examples of abuse of power," Professor McDonald said.
Yee-Fui Ng, who is a senior lecturer with Monash University's Faculty of Law said there were issues of accountability at play.
"Basically, the position of ministerial advisors has only come into play in the last 40 years before that. And in the Constitution, we just have ministers and public servants. And that means that the law has lagged behind," she said.
"We've got codes of conduct for both ministers and the advisors as well. But those codes of conduct are policed completely within the executive, in-house. And that means that it's all hidden from public view.
"So I think that's a lot of issues of accountability in terms of how advisors are regulated, and how ministers are regulated in terms of their advisors. And it's a really precarious role, because it's at the whim of the minister."
However John Wilson, who is the employment law and investigations legal director with Bradley Allen Love Lawyers, said staffers were still protected by the Fair Work Act.
"It protects employees from having adverse action taken against them, which would include demotion for the for the exercise of their workplace rights or for general unlawful reasons," Mr Wilson said.
"If in this case, the media advisor felt that she'd been demoted. She can apply for a remedy for unfair dismissal, because unfair dismissal includes demotion where there's a significant reduction in terms and conditions."
Even in cases where staff felt like they had no option but to leave, Mr Wilson said the Fair Work Commission could construe their resignation as a dismissal.