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OPINION: Prime Minister Turnbull - your Bonk Ban is wrong

Yes Barnaby Joyce had an affair with his staffer, but does this mean the PM is entitled to prohibit people from forming romantic relationships with those they work with? A woman who met the love of her life at work weighs in...

By Ellie McDonald
When it comes to how you met the one you love, "through friends", "in a bar" and "at work"' have to be up there with the most common meet-cutes. So the way Lee, 28, and Dave, 30, met wasn't unusual by any means. They met through work at a professional services company they both worked for six years ago, and are now excitedly organising their dream wedding.
However, if Lee and Dave worked in politics and only met today, under the Prime Minister's new ministerial sex ban – one that prevents ministers from having sex with their staff unless they were willing to lose their jobs – Lee and Dave's love would never have flourished.
Considering that, according to Relationships Australia, as many as 40 per cent of Australians aged 35-50 met their partner at work, this is why Lee believes the PM's colloquially coined 'Bonk Ban' is fundamentally wrong.
Because, as she explains, "our relationships shouldn't define us at work" and "life is too short to not be with a person that makes you happy".
This is Lee and Dave's story.

When Lee met Dave

I was working in the finance department and at the time I looked after billing for the company. I would prepare bills for clients/projects that Dave worked on.
One day, Dave came to my desk to talk about something billing related. I had only ever met him once before, randomly by the communal lifts, but on this occasion, we had great banter; there was a real connection between us from the get-go.
Dave is very charming with a great sense of humour, and after that conversation, I was so intrigued by him. I wanted to know more about him. So when he asked me to attend his team's Christmas party that he'd organised, I grabbed a few colleagues and we crashed their party after ours had finished.
The rest is history.
Barnaby Joyce, pictured here with his now-ex wife Natalie, had an extra-marital affaitr with his media advisor, Vikki Campion, prompting the PM to ban all ministers from sleeping with their staff.

Love is in the (office) air

Dave and I would have a bit of a flirt on our company's instant messenger app, but it was all very innocent and no-one knew about it. He left a birthday present at my desk on my birthday and that's when everyone started to catch on but no-one was against it – everyone was cheering us on and wanted to know all the goss.
Once things began to get serious between Dave and I, and we started spending work nights together, the next morning, we would separate from each other at the front door of the office. Most of the time we wouldn't see each other until after work, in the exact same spot we'd left each other that morning.
Our office was a big place. We'd see each other at the gym sometimes at lunch but we wouldn't make it weird for anyone with a pash; we'd just give each other a smile and be on our way.
To be honest, that kind of interaction between Dave and I was more exciting than kissing each other in public. Seeing him randomly in the office would make me feel a little warm and fuzzy but I always kept that to myself.

Sorry, Malcom, but… NO

When I heard that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was imposing a sex ban on his ministers, threatening to sack them if they slept with someone in their staff line-up, two things came to mind…
Firstly, I absolutely think this is WRONG. These people are adults. Look, of course they shouldn't bring their relationship to work and let it impact others or their day jobs, but what happens outside work is their business. Not their boss'.
Secondly, naturally you're attracted to people with the same interests as you spend most of your life at work so work relationships are inevitable.
Life is too short to not be with a person that makes you happy! A quote I think works well in this situation: "If you want it, go for it, take a risk. Don't always play it safe or you'll die wondering."
I would hate to think that my boss got in the way of me locking down Dave... my future husband.
What do you make of the PM's sex ban - fair or flat-out unfathomable?

How we make it work

Dave and I keep work talk to a minimum.
Although, I do think the biggest precaution I will take to ensure our relationship doesn't impact our working lives will be my name change after marriage. I want to take Dave's surname but I think I'll only take it on in my personal life.
My friends and family will know me as Dave's wife and I will have his surname. However, at work I will keep my maiden name because we work for the same company, and now in the same department with the same clients. I don't want people knowing our personal business – it's private.
Our relationship shouldn't define us at work. And I suggest you heed that warning, Prime Minister.
What do you make of Prime Minister Turnbull's sex ban? Tell us by commenting on our Facebook page.