DOORSTOP INTERVIEW CANBERRA

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
DOORSTOP INTERVIEW
CANBERRA

TUESDAY, 5 DECEMBER 2017

SUBJECTS: Citizenship; Domestic violence leave.

JOURNALIST: There was a suggestion from Brendan O'Connor this morning that Labor might be open to some sort of compromise over a batch of referrals for the dual citizenship crisis, is this something you're contemplating?

TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: We will see all of the disclosures from the House of Representatives today, we've seen some from the Senate obviously and we'll examine those closely over the rest of the week. But the difference between the people that are being discussed today - Katy Gallagher - and those like Barnaby Joyce, Fiona Nash and others - is that Labor MPs took all reasonable steps to renounce dual citizenship before their nominations.  We are confident of our people and we're very happy to participate in this disclosure process. It was Labor that demanded a faster, stronger disclosure process and we'll see the results of that this week. 

Now can I make a few more comments - today, of course, we're having the White Ribbon Breakfast here in Parliament House. The White Ribbon organisation is a terrific organisation urging men not to be silent, not to stand by, and of course never to perpetrate violence against women. I'm delighted that our leader Bill Shorten today will be announcing that a Labor Government would support 10 days of domestic violence leave if we became the government of Australia. This is an absolutely vital, new offer for victims of domestic violence who struggle so much at a time of great upheaval in their lives. When they are sometimes having to move, pack up their children, their lives, move house to find safety, when they're requiring legal advice, court appearances, to talk with police, to give evidence, to attend medical appointments, perhaps, continuing medical appointments.

To have this domestic violence leave means that women don't have to lie about what they're going through with their employers, it means that they can take the steps necessary to ensure their safety and the safety of their children, without fearing that they will lose their jobs. We know that economic insecurity is one of the main reasons that women stay in dangerous situations; if a woman thinks that she is going to lose her job, lose her only means of support for herself and her children, she will more often stay in a violent relationship than risk losing her economic independence.

Now, I know many employers are already doing this, many employers - large employers and small ones - are supporting their staff already with paid domestic violence leave, including, in many cases 10 days, in some cases 20, in one case unlimited domestic violence leave. I want to congratulate those employers who are already doing this, and I want to say how proud I am that today we will announce this contribution that we can make as a society to supporting victims of domestic violence. 

JOURNALIST: Should the High Court not ultimately decide whether the steps Katy Gallagher and the others you mentioned took were reasonable? 

PLIBERSEK: Well, the huge difference between Barnaby Joyce, Fiona Nash and others that were referred to the High Court is they took no steps to renounce their dual citizenship. We are confident that Labor MPs have taken all reasonable steps to renounce any dual citizenships. 

ENDS