STATEMENT: Kate Ellis MP, Thursday 9 March 2017

commonwealthcoatofarms_4_.png 

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

THE HON JENNY MACKLIN MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES
MEMBER FOR JAGAJAGA

 

KATE ELLIS MP 

We thank Kate Ellis for her years of friendship and her public service as the Member for Adelaide over the last thirteen years.

Kate’s genuine warmth and optimism has made the Parliament a brighter and friendlier place. 

In 2007, Kate became the Minister for Youth and the Minister for Sport, at the time she was the youngest person to be appointed an Australian government minister. 

Later Kate became the Minister for Early Childhood Education, Childcare, Youth and the Minister for the Status of Women. 

Kate was a terrific minister who championed education for all. 

In Opposition, Kate strongly defended the Gonski education funding reforms from cuts by the Liberal Government.

She worked with early childhood education providers to ensure that proposed reforms to child care don’t leave low income families worse off.

It has been a privilege to work alongside Kate in recent years in defending low and middle income Australian families from unfair cuts to Family Tax Benefits.

Kate has held the marginal seat of Adelaide for Labor for more than a decade and we’ve seen first-hand her formidable skills as a grassroots campaigner.

We look forward to continuing to work alongside Kate ahead of the next election. 

Having seen the love and devotion for her son Sam, we totally understand and respect her decision to put her family first.

We wish Kate and her family all the best as they prepare for the next chapter of their lives.

Share

MEDIA RELEASE: Time for family violence to be treated as a national priority, Thursday 27 October 2016

commonwealthcoatofarms_4_.png 

THE HON BILL SHORTEN MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS
AND ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDERS
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG

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

TERRI BUTLER MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR PREVENTING FAMILY VIOLENCE
SHADOW ASSITANT MINISTER FOR UNIVERSITIES
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EQUALITY
MEMBER FOR GRIFFITH

 

TIME FOR FAMILY VIOLENCE TO BE TREATED AS NATIONAL PRIORITY

 

As the Prime Minister meets with his state and territory counterparts to discuss Australia’s family violence crisis tomorrow, his government needs to start demonstrating that tackling the scourge of family violence is truly a national priority.

It’s not enough to simply say that family violence is a priority – we need to see action and results.  

The Turnbull Government needs to recognise its harsh budget cuts are hindering, not helping, the effort to eliminate family violence from our communities.

These cuts include:

  • $35 million from Community Legal Centres, which provide frontline support services to domestic violence victims.
  • $88 million from the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness – ignoring the reality that domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness.
  • Cuts to the national Family Violence Prevention Legal Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services.

The Government also needs to start doing much better when it comes to implementing its responses to family violence.

Six months ago the Government finally agreed to consider the Productivity Commission’s recommendation to reform law processes so that perpetrators of family violence could not personally cross-examine their victims. However, we haven’t seen any action since then.

Last year the Government announced it would spend $12 million on trialling the use of innovative technology to keep women safe. From that money, only $180,000 has been delivered so far.

Last year the Government also announced it would spend $5 million to expand 1800 RESPECT. But that money never reached the telephone counselling provider – instead it has been spent on diverting victims away from telephone counselling.

Earlier this year a Senate Inquiry and the COAG Advisory Panel recommended that the Government criminalise so-called revenge porn, but no commitment has been made.

The Government committed to spending $5 million on safe smart phones and related resources – but after six months, only half that amount had been provided to Women’s Services Network (WESNET) for that purpose.

And almost six months passed between the Government’s commitment to spending $15 million on establishing specialised domestic violence support units, and the first of those new units beginning to operate.

During the election campaign, George Brandis announced an additional $30 million for legal services, and Michaelia Cash announced an additional $15 million for domestic violence frontline services. But as yet no-one knows how or when that additional funding will be delivered.

The Minister for Women has claimed that paid domestic violence leave would mean fewer jobs for women. As Minister for Employment, she has presided over public service bargaining which sought to strip domestic violence leave from public sector agreements.

The Government has also failed to provide bipartisan support for Labor’s call for domestic violence leave to be a universal workplace right.

Finally, the annual progress report for the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children is three months overdue – with no indication as to when it will be published.

Labor agrees that family violence prevention is national priority. It’s time for the Turnbull Government to demonstrate this, not just say it. 

Share

MEDIA RELEASE: Now it's time for a free vote, Mr Turnbull, Tuesday 8 Mpvember 2016

commonwealthcoatofarms_4_.png 

THE HON BILL SHORTEN MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS
AND ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDERS
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG

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

THE HON MARK DREYFUS  MP
SHADOW ATTORNEY GENERAL
SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY
ACTING SHADOW MINISTER FOR JUSTICE 
MEMBER FOR ISAACS

TERRI BUTLER MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR PREVENTING FAMILY VIOLENCE
SHADOW ASSITANT MINISTER FOR UNIVERSITIES
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EQUALITY
MEMBER FOR GRIFFITH

 

NOW IT’S TIME FOR A FREE VOTE, MR TURNBULL

 

Last night the Senate voted down Malcolm Turnbull’s $200 million wasteful, hurtful, divisive plebiscite on marriage equality.

When it came down to it, Malcolm Turnbull was too weak to kill off this terrible policy when he inherited it from former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Labor makes no apologies for helping to block the plebiscite. The LGBTI community didn’t want it, and the Australian community didn’t either.

It was a waste of valuable taxpayer funds, and it was never about the achievement of marriage equality.

It was Tony Abbott’s policy – adopted by Malcolm Turnbull - that was designing to kill marriage equality.

Predictably, the government is now trying to argue that marriage equality is off the agenda for this term of Parliament. They are dreaming.

The prospect of a hateful, divisive plebiscite has mobilised the LGBTI community, and all supporters of equality. They are not going away. Labor will continue to campaign for a free parliamentary vote.

We can have marriage equality right now, if only Mr Turnbull was strong enough to stand up for the principles he supposedly believes in.

The only thing standing in the way of marriage equality is Malcolm Turnbull and the right-wing extremists in his party who are pulling his strings.

Labor will not give up the fight to achieve marriage equality in Australia.

Share

MEDIA RELEASE: Misleading Ads: "I am very comfortable" says Christopher Pyne, 23 October 2016

commonwealthcoatofarms_4_.png 

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

SENATOR THE HON DON FARRELL
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE
SHADOW SPECIAL MINISTER OF STATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SPORT
SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTALIA

 

MISLEADING ADS: “I AM VERY COMFORTABLE” SAYS CHRISTOPHER PYNE

 

Christopher Pyne says he is “very comfortable” with his decision to spend $10 million of taxpayers’ money on advertisements about the Liberals’ university reforms, despite the national audit office finding them misleading, and government legal advice warning they might break the law.

When he was Education Minister, Mr Pyne signed off on the advertising which said “the Australian Government will continue to pay around half your undergraduate degree”.

At the time, he was also going around saying this to the media: “So students are going to be asked to pay 50 per cent of the cost of their education…I think that’s a fair deal…a 50-50 split sounds like a fair deal.”

That’s despite modelling from his own department showing that the Liberals’ university reforms would see the average Australian Government contribution for undergraduate degrees drop significantly, from around 60% to as low as 39.5%.

When asked about the misleading, potentially illegal advertisements on the ABC’s Insiders program this morning, Mr Pyne said:

“Sometimes they [the national audit office] get things right and sometimes they get things wrong. I am very comfortable.”

Rather than take responsibility for his deception, Mr Pyne is trying to blame the highly respected Australian National Audit Office. It’s disgraceful.

Mr Pyne must apologise to students, parents, and the Australian public.

Labor calls on the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, to explain how and why these misleading, potentially illegal advertisements were approved by the Liberals.

Share

MEDIA RELEASE: Simon Birmingham fails to answer for Liberals' dysfunction and chaos on education, 21 October 2016

commonwealthcoatofarms_4_.png 

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

 

SIMON BIRMINGHAM FAILS TO ANSWER FOR LIBERALS' DYSFUNCTION AND CHAOS ON EDUCATION

 

The Education Minister's failure to answer serious questions at Senate Estimates yesterday shows he either doesn't know what he's doing, or he just doesn't care.

He couldn't explain how schools would be better off after his $29 billion of cuts.

He couldn't say how much each state, system, or school, would lose.

He couldn't answer basic questions about when he will finalise schools funding agreements with the states and territories.

He couldn't explain why after 25 reviews into higher education, all the Liberals had proposed was cuts and $100,000 degrees, causing chaos in the university sector.

He couldn't say why the Liberals spent $10 million of taxpayers’ money on ads about university reform, when the audit office found them misleading, and the government's legal advice said they might break the law.

He couldn’t bring himself to apologise for forcing our universities into inadequate, emergency one-year funding agreements.

He couldn't say why the Liberals have no trouble finding $50 billion for a big business tax cut, but can't find money to better fund schools and universities.

The dysfunction of this minister, and this government, is robbing our students, our education system, our economy, and our country of the bright future they deserve.

 

Share

MEDIA RELEASE: Minister for Women fails to hit own targets, 29 September 2016

commonwealthcoatofarms_4_.png 

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

 

MINISTER FOR WOMEN FAILS TO HIT OWN TARGETS

It was revealed last night that Michaelia Cash’s own department has failed to hit the Government’s target for female representation on boards. Minister Cash’s Department of Employment has the lowest rate of women on boards across the Government – only 15 out of 53 board positions it oversees.

This comes after pay gaps were exposed in the Office for Women, with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet offering $10,000 dollars less to new employees in the Office for Women than for positions at the same level elsewhere in the department.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Women, Ms Tanya Plibersek says if Australia’s Minister for Women can’t get it right in her own department and the Office for Women, it shows what a low priority equality for women is under this Government.

“Commitment to women’s policy was a joke under Tony Abbot, and under Malcolm Turnbull and Michaelia Cash it seems to have disappeared altogether.

“Michaelia Cash clearly isn’t serious about women’s rights if she’s happy to accept $10,000 pay gaps and ignore gender targets in her own departments.

Labor is serious about striving for gender equality through strong leadership in government. We’ve set a target for 50 per cent female representation on government boards within our first term in office.

When last in government Labor set a 40 per cent target which we achieved 2 years ahead of the target date.

Under the Liberals we haven't just stood still, we've gone backwards.

Ms Plibersek said “I support targets because they work. There’s strong evidence that diversity on boards improves decision making and governance.”

The Minister for Women should be setting an example, not trailing the bunch when it comes to being an equal opportunity employer. 

 

Share

MEDIA RELEASE: Birmingham's secret schools hit list, 27 September 2016

commonwealthcoatofarms_4_.png 

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

 

THE DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK

Simon Birmingham turned up yesterday to meet with Education Ministers with no written proposals for school funding, just a string of excuses for his proposed cuts.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Education, Tanya Plibersek, saidwhat we’re seeing right now is an attempt by the Government to cover up their lack of commitment to a fully-funded, needs-based approach to schools funding.

“You don’t go into a discussion on needs based-funding with the intention to rip even more money out of our schools,” Ms Plibersek said.

New South Wales Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, has said yesterday’s meeting was a return to the bad old days of debate about school funding and that the Government’s proposals would “break the hearts of a lot of parents across Australia”.

Education Minister Susan Close from South Australia said the message from the Government amounts to “we’re not going to give you the money we know you need.”

It looks like the Government has something to hide about its school funding proposal. Birmingham presented no papers to state and territory Ministers who were left to learn about the Government’s proposals through the media.

These attempts by the Government to cover up its intentions to cut school funding are creating uncertainty for schools, principals and parents. It’s clear that the Government still doesn’t understand that education is the smartest investment Australia can make.

Share

MEDIA RELEASE: The dog ate my homework, Saturday 24 September 2016

commonwealthcoatofarms_4_.png 

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

THE DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK

Simon Birmingham turned up yesterday to meet with Education Ministers with no written proposals for school funding, just a string of excuses for his proposed cuts.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Education, Tanya Plibersek, said what we’re seeing right now is an attempt by the Government to cover up their lack of commitment to a fully-funded, needs-based approach to schools funding.

“You don’t go into a discussion on needs based-funding with the intention to rip even more money out of our schools,” Ms Plibersek said.

New South Wales Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, has said yesterday’s meeting was a return to the bad old days of debate about school funding and that the Government’s proposals would “break the hearts of a lot of parents across Australia”.

Education Minister Susan Close from South Australia said the message from the Government amounts to “we’re not going to give you the money we know you need.”

It looks like the Government has something to hide about its school funding proposal. Birmingham presented no papers to state and territory Ministers who were left to learn about the Government’s proposals through the media.

These attempts by the Government to cover up its intentions to cut school funding are creating uncertainty for schools, principals and parents. It’s clear that the Government still doesn’t understand that education is the smartest investment Australia can make.

 

Share

MEDIA RELEASE: Simon Birmingham's 'F' for History, Thursday 22 September 2016

commonwealthcoatofarms_4_.png

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

THE HON KATE ELLIS MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TAFE AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION
MEMBER FOR ADELAIDE

MR ANDREW GILES MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR SCHOOLS
MEMBER FOR SCULLIN

 

SIMON BIRMINGHAM’S ‘F’ FOR HISTORY

When Simon Birmingham meets state and territory education ministers in Adelaide on Friday, he won’t be bringing a plan to invest in Australian schools. He'll just have a list of excuses to cut funding and deny kids every chance to fulfil their potential.

Read more
Share

MEDIA RELEASE: Continued pressure needed to achieve gender diversity on boards, Tuesday 20 September 2016

commonwealthcoatofarms_4_.png

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

 

CONTINUED PRESSURE NEEDED TO ACHIEVE GENDER DIVERSITY ON BOARDS 

Today’s Gender Diversity Quarterly Report shows ASX 200 companies are broadly on track to meet the Australian Institute of Company Director’s target of 30 per cent female representation on boards by 2018.

The percentage of women on boards has risen to 23 per cent this year, up from 8 per cent in 2009. Over 40 per cent of new board appointments so far this year were women.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Women, Tanya Plibersek, said there is much more that needs to be done to secure the social, economic and strategic benefits of gender diversity on boards.

AICD’s report shows two more companies have joined the blacklist of all-male boards in the last quarter.

When AICD wrote to companies on the blacklist to ask them why they don’t appoint women, responses included “we don’t have to and we don’t want to” and “women talk too much and make the board meeting too long”.

“Attitudes like these show why it’s still important to set targets and hold business to account for reaching them,” said Ms Plibersek.

“The use of participant targets gives us something measurable to aim for and work towards.

“Cultural change is needed in organisations like these if we are to maintain the appointment rate of 38 per cent needed to meet the 2018 target. And once the 2018 target is met, we should stretch ourselves again by raising the bar.” 

“While 30 per cent is a step in the right direction we shouldn’t accept it as our final destination,” Ms Plibersek said.

Share