19 September 2018








SUBJECT/S: Liberal Party’s men problem; Labor’s superannuation announcement; Catherine Marriott; Newstart review


DR ANNE ALY MP: I have never seen so many unextraordinary men speak so passionately about merit as I have with the blokes in this LNP government.

They like to talk a big game about respect for women, but meanwhile four women in the Liberal Party have called out bullying, and Prime Minister Morrison refuses to acknowledge it. He wants to sweep it under the carpet and say “nothing to see here”.

While the Liberals are busy talking about respect for women, Labor has recognised that 30 per cent of women – of older women – will live in poverty. They recognise that women are $100,000 worse off with their superannuation at retirement, that’s a 40 per cent difference, and we’re putting in real measures to address those issues.

The Liberals can talk about respect for women all they like, but until they actually show that they actually care for women; until the Prime Minister comes out and calls out this bullying, and says that it’s wrong, and recognises that it’s wrong; until they install quotas to increase representation of women in the Liberal Party so that their Party resembles remotely what the Australian population looks like; unfortunately all it’s going to be is empty talk.

JOURNALIST: Does this announcement today come at a perfect time considering the problems with women the Coalition are having?

ALY: Well let me start by saying the Coalition doesn’t have a problem with women, the Coalition has a problem with men.

I think it comes at a time when we’re starting to talk about older people, older Australians, and it’s particularly a pertinent time to shine the spotlight on how women in particular fare worse off in their later years. Particularly because of the fact that they are behind in superannuation, 30 per cent of older women are likely to live in poverty, and I think it’s time we really addressed this issue and addressed this inequality. It’s a very stark inequality. And we can start by making some measures to address that, and Labor has taken that on, we’ve recognised it, and we’ve started to do something about it.

JOURNALIST: What did you make of the ABC interview last night with Catherine Marriott?

ALY: I didn’t watch it, to be honest. I didn't watch the interview with Catherine Marriott, but I will say that I think this is just a string of disappointments from the leadership in the Liberal-National Coalition in relation to how they treat women and in relation to our how they take the concerns of women seriously. It's been mirrored in the way that the Prime Minister Scott Morrison has treated complaints about bullying from women within his Party, and it seems that it is equally as inefficient in terms of any kind of supposed process they might have in the National Party as well. You can’t keep talking about respect for women and think that that's as far as you can go. You have to back it up with action.

JOURNALIST: We’ve got the superannuation announcement today, but there was a Newstart report on Monday just detailing the economic benefits and social benefits of increasing the Newstart allowance. What’s your position on that?

ALY: Well Labor has committed to doing a branch and root review of Newstart, we’ve laid that out and if we get in to government that’s one of the first actions that we’ve committed to.

See ya laters alligators!