Subjects: Julia Banks, Women’s Economic Security Statement
JOURNALIST: What do you make of Julia Banks’ decision to move to the crossbench?
KELLY O’DWYER: Obviously I am deeply disappointed by her decision like many Liberal Party members. I share with them that disappointment. Obviously she has made her decision, I respect her, but I am deeply disappointed.
JOURNALIST: Does the Liberal Party have a problem with keeping women?
KELLY O’DWYER: The Liberal Party is the natural home for Australian women. We are the party that actually believes in giving women equality of opportunity. We are the party that actually represents those people who aspire, those people who want to get ahead, to work hard. We reward them for that hard work. We are the party whose values are all about lowering taxes and smaller government, and letting people choose their own path in life. As a result we are the party – the natural party – for Australian women. It is one of the reasons why I delivered the very first Women's Economic Security Statement last week at the National Press Club. It is the first time any Government has put on the agenda the need to build women's economic security. Because we know if we do that, if we build women's financial security, we give them choices and opportunities in their lives. We aspire to so much more for Australian women. We don't simply want Australian women to survive, we want them to thrive. We want them to fulfil their full potential and I am delighted as the Minister for Women to be able to announce a number of practical measures – as part of that Women's Economic Security Statement – that build on our very successful record to date where we have more women in work than ever before, more women in full-time work than ever before. We have the highest record participation rate. We have also – of course – seen the gender pay gap decrease under our Government, but it increased under the previous Labor government. So despite all of Labor's talk their record is not strong. Thank you.