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The PM’s reshuffle does nothing to make Australian women safer

Media Release
Larissa Waters 25 Mar 2021

The Greens say the Prime Minister’s expected Cabinet reshuffle is another cosmetic response to systemic failures and have called on the government to immediately act to protect women in parliament and across the country.

Greens leader in the Senate and spokesperson on women Larissa Waters said:

“The PM is treating this issue of sexual violence against women and endemic misogyny as another PR problem to be managed away.

“The expected Ministerial reshuffle and demotion of Minister Porter is just shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic, just like they shuffle staff around to hide political problems rather than fixing them.

“A reshuffle does not address Ministerial bad behaviour or men’s bad behaviour more generally and it won’t make women safer – either in parliament house or anywhere else.

“Women deserve real and immediate action on safety and equality. 

“For women everywhere, the Greens are calling for the implementation of all 55 of the Respect@Work recommendations; fully funded frontline domestic violence and sexual assault services; legislation to end the gender pay gap; the strengthening of sexual harassment laws; free early childhood education; enough social housing; and compulsory whole-of-school consent training in all schools nationwide.

“For those working in politics, parliament house must be a safe place. We need compulsory sexual harassment training for staff and MPs, independent enforcement of the Ministerial Standards, an independent complaints body, and a binding code of conduct for all MPs enforced independently with the power to hold all MPs to account, including recommending censure or suspension. And we still need an independent inquiry into the bungling of Brittany Higgins’ rape allegations, as well as a strong national corruption watchdog with real teeth.

“And in his own ranks the PM must appoint a Cabinet that is half women and introduce quotas in his party to rectify the appalling gender imbalance.

“This is serious, PM. It’s about time you acted accordingly.”

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