[Prime Minister’s Address to Journalists outside Parliament House]
“Thank you for coming here today. I’m honored to be standing here as your Prime Minister for the day, and I intend to utilize every second of my term targeting what I believe is one of the key issues facing Australia today, and that is the matter of gender inequality. The issue is not over whether one gender is better or not, rather that the unique and powerful role that women play in society is often undervalued. Therefore, we must focus on empowering women until they achieve equality socially, politically and economically.
I will be devoting every minute of this unique day to achieving this goal, and today I’m proud to announce my campaign: ‘Correcting the Council’. In my local electorate, Forrest, currently as it stands, only 2 of the 9 City Councillors in the local town of Busselton are women. Statistics like these are unacceptable and it’s the aim of this campaign to address this underrepresentation of women, which resides not only in my electorate, but in that of many around the country.
I have here on the steps with me these two wonderful councillors: Jenny Green and Coralie Tarbotton who will work with me on the campaign to encourage more women to become represented on a local level. My aim through this campaign is to see that by 2030, there is equal representation of women in local councils across Australia. A country that led the way in achieving women suffrage can now lead the way in achieving equal representation on local councils. I’m confident that more women being represented will make better local government for all Australians.
In the field of business, data compiled by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors, found of the nation’s top 200 companies only 10 have female CEOs. This must change. As you are aware, I have organised the conference: ‘Women in the Workforce’ where I have invited 100 of our country’s most passionate and accomplished women from all over the country to engage in discussion on the ways in which Australia can implement initiatives that will help more women take up positions of ‘power’ which overtime would lead to equity in the workforce. My fellow colleagues Tanya Plibersek MP, Nola Marino MP, and Senator Larissa Waters will be joining us later this afternoon and I look forward to a passionate discussion.
Furthermore, I’m launching a project to target gender inequality by challenging negative representations of women. Going by the name of ‘Scrap the Stereotypes’ this message will be spread via social media, radio and television in order to access as many people as possible. Australians deserve the right to pursue a career regardless of their gender. We need to send out the message that there are no limitations to what women can do.
Ladies and gentlemen thank you for coming, and if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got plenty of work to do!”
[Prime Minister turns and walks with purpose up the steps of parliament]