Page 2277 - Week 07 - Thursday, 23 June 2005

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .

The unequal division of labour threatens health, family relationships, workforce participation rates, women’s retirement income, fertility rates and the nation’s productivity …

As long as women are expected to care for children and ageing relatives—

so we have got both ends of the life cycle here—

they cannot participate equally with men in the workplace, and will be on a downward economic spiral, vulnerable to poverty in old age or in the event of a divorce. Men are also disadvantaged—

and this is the new point that is being recognised more clearly—

as they are denied time to invest in close relationships with their partners and their children.

What is very evident here is that, as children are born, the increase in women’s work is very clear. Whereas men may spend a little more time looking after their children, they are not likely to combine that with cleaning the toilet and cooking a meal at the same time, as most women are expected to do. The man who looks after his children looks after his children, full stop. Women would like more time to be able to do just that as well.

I commend this paper to you. I look forward to reading your submissions as they appear on the web site after 30 September. Pru Goward has done us all a favour here, and let us make sure that the Prime Minister listens to her.

Election results
Household work

MR QUINLAN (Molonglo—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Business, Minister for Tourism, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (4.43): I just could not let this week pass, I do not think, without recognising the magnificent win of Clare Martin and the Labor Party in the Northern Territory. I have to reflect upon recent elections in states and territories. It is interesting to draw some parallels, having seen the not-too-distant Western Australian election, more recently the Northern Territory election and, of course, our own election of late last year.

Let me put this in perspective: Colin Barnett, the Liberal leader in Western Australia, took his party to a first preference vote of 35.4 and fell on his sword. Denis Burke more recently took his Liberal Party in Northern Territory to a first preference vote of 35.2 and lost his seat. Nevertheless, he apologised on election night for his dramatic failure.

Mr Mulcahy: Where would this be going?

MR QUINLAN: It is really a trivia question for the trivia question buffs: of the three Liberal parties in those three elections that I have mentioned, which one got the lowest first preference vote? The ACT, with 34.9.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .