Today Show, Canberra

Release Date: 
11 February 2019

Subjects: $78 million to help support women and children escaping domestic and family violence, Newspoll.  

DEBORAH KNIGHT: Minister for Women, Kelly O'Dwyer, joins us now from Canberra. Kelly good morning to you.

KELLY O’DWYER: Good morning Deb.

DEBORAH KNIGHT: Another Newspoll, another bad result. It must be a bit of a relief that you are getting out of politics as it's not looking good for the Government.

KELLY O’DWYER: Deb, as you know I am going into my tenth year. I am not an expert on polling and don't profess to start becoming an expert now…

DEBORAH KNIGHT: You don’t need to be an expert to see these figures aren't good.

KELLY O’DWYER: What I would say is that Australians are going to have a very clear choice on election day when it comes to casting their ballot. They are going to have a choice of Labor led by Bill Shorten who would impose $200 billion of new or increased taxes on our economy, or a choice of a Scott Morrison Coalition team that will see 1.25 million new jobs created, keeping our economy growing and making sure that there is opportunity and prosperity for all Australians.

DEBORAH KNIGHT: Well Christopher Pyne isn't helping things much. He's offered a damning critique of the state of Australian politics, saying it’s self-obsessed, panic prone and not working for the good of voters. Is he right?

KELLY O’DWYER: I think that people have made musings on democracy and politics in general –

DEBORAH KNIGHT: (Interrupts) He is a senior Cabinet Minister though?

KELLY O’DWYER: Look there is no doubt that Australians are frustrated with politics and they want to make sure that the people who represent them put their interests first and that is entirely what we are doing as the Government. That is one of the reasons why today we are making an announcement of $78 million dollars that focuses on better protecting women and children and keeping them safe through new domestic violence initiatives. That will see the building of new accommodation – new emergency accommodation that will help more than 6,500 people each year – and new initiatives to help keep women and children safe in their own homes through security measures.

DEBORAH KNIGHT: Any funding for domestic violence is of course welcome as it is a national disgrace the number of women being killed by their partners in this country. Is enough being done to change the way women are treated in society overall? Your former colleague Julia Banks was scathing of how your party treats women when she quit the Liberals.

KELLY O’DWYER: I think across party lines there is no doubt that the standard of behaviour could improve and I think that is a reflection a number of people in the community would make. We have seen for instance bullying allegations with Emma Husar in the Labor Party and a very scathing assessment there as well. But frankly everyone needs to do better. It's not actually about women in the Parliament, it's about Australian women and what we are delivering for them overall. Now our Government delivered the very first ever Women's Economic Security Statement to demonstrate that we want women to have an equal stake in society, we want them to be able to build their financial capability and to build their financial security – and we had a number of practical measures in our $109 million package that will help them to achieve just that.

DEBORAH KNIGHT: Okay well we shall see what happens in Parliament this week with the medivac Bill of course being debated and that potential humiliating defeat of the Government. But Kelly O'Dwyer, we thank you for your time this morning.

KELLY O’DWYER: Thanks Deb.