A letter has been sent to Prime Minister Scott Morrison detailing an historical rape allegation against a senior member of the government, according to a Greens senator who also received the letter.
Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said in a statement she received a letter on Friday morning "regarding a disturbing and a very serious allegation of a criminal nature against a senior member of the government".
"I am aware that other members of parliament have received the same information I have, including the Prime Minister," she said.
Labor senator Penny Wong says she also received an anonymous letter, the contents of which, including an attachment that appears to be a statement prepared by the alleged victim, "relate to an allegation of rape".
The existence of the letter was first reported by the ABC's Louise Milligan, who also reported that the allegation related to an incident in 1988 in Sydney, and the woman who had made it had since taken her own life.
NSW Police said the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad received a report about the allegations in February last year, and detectives began an investigation with the designation Strike Force Wyndarra.
That investigation was suspended after the woman who made the report, then 49, was found dead at a home in Adelaide by South Australia Police on June 24.
A formal statement was not provided when the woman initially met with police in Sydney, NSW Police said, and that process was never completed.
It is not clear if the woman ever wanted her allegation made public or sent to senior politicians.
Senator Wong confirmed the letter she received was also addressed to the Prime Minister.
"I understand the complainant reported this allegation to the NSW Police Force and South Australia Police," Senator Wong said.
"I have forwarded the letter to the NSW Police Force, South Australia Police and the Australian Federal Police to assist in any investigations which may be under way."
Senator Wong said she had written to the Prime Minister and Senator Hanson-Young to detail the steps she had taken after receiving her anonymous letter.
"It is my hope that appropriate action is taken to examine the allegation," she said.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister did not confirm if Mr Morrison had received the letter.
"As per the AFP Commissioner's instruction, any complaints or allegations of this nature made to anybody - whether they're parliamentarians or journalists - should be referred to the AFP," he said.
"As the Australian Federal Police Commissioner outlined in advice to all parliamentarians on February, 25 2021, reporting to the police is the way to ensure any alleged crimes are properly investigated."
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw wrote to the Prime Minister this week, following reports senior government ministers were aware that a rape allegation had been made by former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins against a fellow Liberal staffer over an incident in the officer of now Defence Minister Linda Reynolds.
The Prime Minister maintains no minister or member of his staff told him about the allegations and that he found out in media reports last week.
Mr Kershaw told Mr Morrison MPs must report any criminal allegations made to them, to police.
"I cannot state strongly enough the importance of timely referrals of allegations of criminal conduct," Mr Kershaw wrote.
"Failure to report alleged criminal behaviour in this manner, or choosing to communicate or disseminate allegations via other means, such as through the media or third parties, risks prejudicing and subsequent police investigation."
"Any delay in reporting criminal conduct can result in the loss of key evidence, continuation of the offending and/or reoffending by the alleged perpetrator," he said.
"It also has the very real potential to compromise the rights of victims and other parties to the alleged offences.
"By not adhering to this process, there is a real risk that any alternative actions by individuals may lead to obstructing, preventing, perverting or defeating the course of justice or the administration of law."
"I have spoken with the police Commissioner today who is now taking steps in relation to this information," she said.
In a statement a representative for South Australia Police said "it is a matter for the Coroner and SA Police will not be making any further comment at this time".
The Australian Federal Police have not commented on the allegation.
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