Brittany Higgins’ civil claim for close to $3m against the commonwealth deserves close scrutiny. The Weekend Australian understands that this claim, set down for mediation next Tuesday, will likely be settled by the Department of Finance and paid for by taxpayers. In other words, it may never reach a courtroom. …
Fabulous. Will this encourage more (unproven) “rapes”? Does this mean the bureaucracy thinks Lehrmann is guilty, despite a lack of conviction and any evidence except Brittany’s word? Tell me this isn’t another female privilege, and not just more male-bashing by the feminists.
Aren’t the bureaucrats supposed to be “public servants”? How come they are effectively not accountable to us?
Given the size of the claim, why isn’t the department taking the Higgins claim to court? Higgins this week stated that she stands ready to “to defend the truth” in any defamation case brought by Lehrmann. One might assume she is willing to do the same in her civil claim. …
If not in a courtroom, how will the department test the truth of Higgins’ claims? …
If the department is not planning to test the veracity of claims against it and former ministers before potentially settling this matter next week, including with a multimillion-dollar payout, how can taxpayers know that taxpayer money is being paid for valid claims? …
The media and the bureaucracy are as one on this issue, as on so many:
Is the department considering the media’s role or whether Higgins or others bore any responsibility for the position that Higgins describes in her Statement of Particulars, including that she has a significantly reduced ability to work in the future and suffers from continuing mental health issues?
It is public knowledge that Higgins chose to go to the media before she went to police. She chose not to avail herself of the legal protections for a complainant in a sexual assault matter, including giving evidence in a remote witness room and entering the court privately where cameras are not permitted. Higgins voluntarily became the public face of a #MeToo campaign, joining the Women’s March and seeking publicity …
You get more of what you subsidize:
Is the department considering the potential for copycat claims given the precedent it will set if it does not test the veracity of Higgins’ claim and the politics that are at the centre of this saga? This column asked similar questions in relation the $650,000 payout to Rachelle Miller. Questions arising from this Higgins matter point to a possible pattern of payouts by the department without the veracity of claims being tested. What other similar payments have been made that we do not know about? …
Labor politicians want a big payout:
The department will be cognisant of the fact that the Albanese government has a powerful political motive to ensure Higgins receives a large payout. The higher Higgins’ settlement, the worse the former Morrison government looks. A cheeky observer might suggest that Gallagher might wish that Higgins receive an extra million or so to heighten the damage to the former Liberal government.
Corrupt people playing with other people’s money.
The average income is about $90k p.a, so $3m is over 30 years of work for most of us. Not bad for an unproven allegation over a night out, and being a media darling.
Police recovered a text exchange between Ms Higgins and former boyfriend Ben Dillaway dated February 7, 2019, six weeks before the alleged rape, in which the pair joked about wanting a political sex scandal.
“The bar for what counts as a political sex scandal nowadays is REALLY low,” Ms Higgins wrote.
“I want a sex scandal I can be like whoa. Impressive. Didn’t think he had it in him,” Mr Dillaway wrote.
“Exactly! A sex scandal the party can be proud of. Another Barnaby but without the baby haha,” Ms Higgins responded.
See also Brittany Higgins Case: The Final Score.