KEY DETAILS ON BRITTANY HIGGINS' AGENDA
PROBLEMS WITH THE SYSTEM
* Despite technically being regarded as the employer of political staffers, the Department of Finance has very limited powers.
* The department is responsible for investigating workplace complaints and making recommendations to parliamentary offices. Staffers are able to make complaints to the department but ultimately it has no powers to sanction a parliamentarian's office even if the complaint is found to be valid.
* Essentially, all the power in the workplace is held by the parliamentarian, leaving many frustrated by the inability to resolve complaints.
* There is also a conflict of interest in a government department being tasked with policing the conduct of people who give it directives.
* Independent Parliamentary Human Resources Authority to provide guidance, advice and rulings for MPs at arm's length to government.
* Reform of the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act to stop staffers from being fired on the spot and ensure appropriate cause is used as grounds for dismissal.
* Greater transparency in the so-called "star chamber" Government Staffing Committee, including publication of its membership.
WHAT DID BRITTANY HIGGINS TELL THE PRIME MINISTER?
"It is my hope that this national discussion will translate into meaningful reform to ensure that this sort of behaviour is no longer tolerated. Cultural change is only achieved when we stand up and say 'enough is enough'.
"The onus is now on the government to show leadership on this issue and act to ensure what I endured is not allowed to happen again."
WHAT DID THE PRIME MINISTER SAY?
"I am committed to achieving an independent process to deal with these difficult issues."