The revolt over the Prime Minister's staffing allocations for the expanded crossbench has managed to drag the treatment of those who work in Parliament House back to the crisp winter daylight.
It was really not that long ago, and perhaps even now, more than worthy candidates questioned toiling at the most powerful workplace in the land.
The tortured discussion of cases of then staffers such as Rachelle Miller and Brittany Higgins begat a reckoning which affected the entire building, those thinking of working there and, in many ways, was the catalyst for the swathe of "teal" independents who swept into office on May 21.
There has been little glamour and a lot of toxicity in supporting democracy on the hill.
"When I was working in the building, you literally just couldn't get out of the building. You couldn't get out of there because you just didn't have time to get out of there," Ms Miller told The Canberra Times.
"I can remember some days where you know, I'd be running around so frantically and I'd get a stomach pain and think 'Oh, I've got a stomach pain. What's that about?' And then I remember 'Oh, actually, I need to go to the toilet.' It was that bad. And I regularly saw really sick people just showing up to work."
"It's exhausting work. I used to need pretty much most of Saturday to recover from a sitting week. I just crash out and recover."
The traditionally unsung advisers of crossbench parliamentarians are to be slashed from four to one, although they will also have the usual lower paid four electorate staff to help juggle.
It is a prime ministerial move to "normalise" the politically inflated staffing numbers offered under Scott Morrison. Labor is trying to sell the move as one of fairness and frugality, but it has been slammed as bad for democracy and tactically incomprehensible for relations in the 47th Parliament.
But it is about holding power to account, now matter what party is in government, and the indies will get one adviser to be all things all the time.
Ms Miller, a former staffer to Coalition cabinet ministers including former education minister Alan Tudge, knows all too well about how the "horrendous" conditions in politics can drag down professional women. It is the building, the boy's club, the blurred professional boundaries and the long and irregular hours.
And she invokes the adage that if you want monkeys then pay peanuts.
"When I was working in Parliament staff turnover was something like 80 per cent in a year. And that is just off-the-scale ridiculous," Ms Miller said.
"It feels like Labor benefited from many of us women speaking out about how we were treated in the former governments and women have put their faith obviously in their votes and said, 'We need to change this government to improve this.' And yet this decision comes out?
But, things are changing. They have to.
The Jenkins review found a toxic workplace culture, a deficit in leadership and that women are still under-represented in decision-making roles. Hopes are high. In the new Parliament there are more female parliamentarians than ever, although not in all parties, and more senior women working in the building whether they be staffers, in the Department of Parliamentary Services or in the federal press gallery.
It has been a long time coming. Perhaps every small win needs a corresponding celebration.
It's yet to be seen how it washes over but Anthony Albanese has promised a family friendly 47th Parliament. One at least where sitting weeks are not held during school holidays.
"We cannot ask the people we represent to make change without also making real and lasting change in this very building. We must, to put it simply, walk the talk," Mr Albanese said as opposition leader in February.
Labor is recommitting to implementing all of the Jenkins recommendations in full, with Minister for Women Katy Gallagher leading the work. The joint select committee on parliamentary standards will return in the first sitting fortnight.
"My main focus will be on ensuring the experience of MOPS staff remains at the centre of these reforms and their voices are heard and valued throughout the process of implementation," Senator Gallagher said.
"In the last Parliament, Labor worked constructively with the Coalition, the crossbench and relevant unions to implement reforms across the parliament. We intend to continue that approach in government."
But it most certainly is not just about MOPS staff - that's Members of Parliament staff. It is about the entire building.
"The momentum has not stopped in the commitment and I guess, joint sense of responsibility to implement those recommendations as quickly as possible has not dissipated in any way whatsoever," Cate Saunders Department of Parliamentary Services deputy secretary said.
"Everyone is feeling that sense of responsibility deeply."
"I think it's fair to say that everyone has a renewed sense of energy. There's a really great feeling in the building."
Parliament House is more than just a large workplace. It is a large artificial ecosystem set up to support democracy - a second home to politicians, political staff, departmental staff, media representatives, security guards, librarians, art collection experts, horticulturalists, food servers, childcare workers and, most recently, a nail technician.
Yep, nails. You can now get your nails done at the seat of power.
"We just feel so lucky to have been able to find him, or he found us, and we're also looking to expand that so that there'll be a beauty salon and we will have hair and makeup services," Ms Saunders said.
"That really is about knowing that there are a lot of women in this building who not just not just you know, as part of just maintenance, but who have a requirement, to have her makeup done for their jobs.
"So watch this space. Yep. It'll be happening soon."
Preparations are underway for the opening of the 47th Parliament.
Ms Saunders cites "really significant" improvements around the building and "momentum and commitment" before the change of government, but now, with the new Parliament being readied, concrete changes are happening taking in "elements recommended by Kate Jenkins and the training also recommended in Stephanie Foster's review".
There's a concerted shift towards balancing genders in work areas that are traditionally dominated in one way, such as recruiting more women in security and trades roles.
"We want to achieve 50 per cent. It's an aspirational target. That's what we're striving for," she said.
"It's even more important for women to see women when they come into the building. And so that means that we need to ensure that we have female security officers who are greeting people when they arrive at the building."
Ms Saunders told The Canberra Times there has been a shift from 2018, an era in which DPS has been described as "troubled".
A comprehensive cultural reform program has led to reports of bullying and harassment complaints falling from 18 per cent in 2019 to 11 per cent in 2021.
"So it's still too many. We want that to be zero. We have an absolute zero tolerance for bullying, but what we're seeing is systemic change following our cultural reform program and the culture in the security branch was particularly bad," Ms Saunders said.
But people get trapped in the building. It is hard to leave.
Which brings us back to nails.
"It's a service that women just expect," she said. "So we wanted to make the working day for women at parliament house as easy as possible."
"People are busy. They have busy lives. You get trapped here. If we can provide services for women here then that means that they have more time for their work, but also whatever it is ... could be family responsibilities, but there's other things as well ... that is actually part of our remit.
"Men are most welcome as well. We would love it. We haven't had any male clients yet."
Surprisingly for the thousands of people who work in the building there is only one nurses station. One of the Jenkins recommendations is a focus on prevention through the establishment of a parliamentary health and wellbeing service - a dedicated medical centre with doctors in the building.
An approach to the market is now out.
"So we've worked through the procurement processes and the scoping part of that work and we have now gone out to the market to find a provider who can deliver that service who specialises in the delivery of health programs," Ms Saunders said.
"It has expanded it to electorate offices. So it'll be not only an on-site GP service, but it'll have a telehealth provision as well built into it for people who aren't here, but are still working to support democracy in some way for parliamentarians, they can still access it."
Policies and procedures are all being reviewed with Jenkins recommendations in mind to ensure that there is a safe and respectful workplace.
For a busted culture there are no quick or singular ways to get Capital Hill back on track. A better life at Parliament House is being offered, but it is an open question about managing work/life better.
Cate Saunders said women are coming now into the building to make this a better place for other women.
"Honestly, as I say that, it gives me goosebumps," she said.
"I'm just so proud of those women and all the women here who are determined to make that change happen."
It has to work from the top down.
"The Australian women put their faith in Anthony Albanese to fix this problem," Ms Miller told The Canberra Times. "We voted, the Australian people voted for him. Let's see what he actually does."
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