Brittany Higgins
Former staffer Brittany Higgins interviewed on The Project (Image: Channel 10)

Note: this article discusses sexual assault.

The extraordinarily privileged position that the major political parties occupy in industrial relations in Australia is rarely commented upon, mostly because the parties prefer it that way. No other employer in Australia is less accountable, more subsidised and more secretive than political parties in relation to the electoral, advisory and media staff they employ.

More correctly, taxpayers employ them. Certainly, taxpayers pay for them, but political parties control them, and are allowed -- by mutual agreement -- to prevent any public scrutiny of their behaviour in the way that other taxpayer-funded employees like public servants are scrutinised.