Liz Truss becomes British Prime Minister; Expected rise in RBA interest rates; Rachelle Miller case settled; long COVID survey to be launched; Labor climate bill in the Senate

Former Liberal staffer Rachelle Miller says the $650,000 settlement she received after filing lawsuits against former cabinet ministers Alan Tudge and Michaelia Cash is a step towards breaking a culture of silence.

Speaking to ABC National Radio earlier this morning, Miller said she was accepting the non-admission payment – at the expense of the taxpayer – on the basis that there was no gag clause because she could use her experiences to drive change.

Former political staffer Rachelle Miller.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

“So that kind of changed the game for me,” she said. “If there had been an NDA [non-disclosure agreement]I would gladly have sued in Federal Court.

Miller worked as a media advisor for Tudge for 15 months starting in August 2016, then worked for Cash for another eight months until July 2018.

It went public in November 2020 on ABC Four corners program to reveal that she had an affair with Tudge while he was her boss, and filed an intimidation complaint with the Department of Finance at the time.

Miller said she doesn’t think the Liberal Party will change as a result of her experience.

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“I think they certainly have their heads in the sand and, in fact, no one from the Liberal Party has ever contacted me to talk about my experiences or ask about them.”

When asked if the settlement was a step towards disrupting a culture of silence, Miller replied, “Yes, and that was the whole reason I spoke up.”

In response to questions about the settlement, Tudge released a statement saying, “I was not a party to these matters or any payment requested and have no knowledge of them. I categorically reject these latest allegations, just as I rejected Ms. Miller’s previous allegations, which I have been cleared of by two independent investigations.

A spokesperson for Cash said the settlement “rests with the Department of Finance.”

“Senator Cash vigorously rejects allegations of any adverse treatment of Ms. Miller and strongly disputes Ms. Miller’s version of events. At the time of her hire, between late 2017 and mid-2018, Senator Cash and her office understood Ms. Miller’s personal situation, so she was offered support, time off and flexible work arrangements.

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