Prime Minister speaks about gender equality

Malcolm Turnbull’s ideal cabinet would be a 50-50 split of men and women, Mr. Turnbull remarked recently, following the new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s gender-equal cabinet announcement on Wednesday night.

“This standard won’t be met in Australia until women have better representation in Australian politics,” Mr. Turnbull said on ABC radio on Thursday. “In an ideal world you would have 50-50 but we don’t have an even ratio of men and women in the Parliament. The fundamental problem at the root of the issue is this: there are not enough women in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.”

More parties need to be more proactive to encourage women to stand for pre-selection; Mr. Turnbull also pointed to the importance of female role models, whether they are politicians or sports stars. Women have long been under-represented in the media and politics as role models and because of the disparity in the number of men and women that lead our country.

Mr. Turnbull’s cabinet includes women in their respective roles for the first time in our country’s history including Marise Payne as the Defence Minister, and Kelly O’Dwyer as the Minister for Revenue, the Assistant Treasurer.

More still needs to be done better represent the minorities in Australia, including the members of the LGBT+ community, and members of racial groups such as Indigenous Australians.

Jakob Barrett

Sydney shooting labeled act of terrorism

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Saturday that the Muslim community should not be blamed for the actions of the 15-year-old boy who shot and killed a NSW police officer in Sydney’s west. The Prime Minister has labeled the incident in Parramatta as an act of terrorism.

“This appears to have been an act of politically-motivated violence so at this stage is appears to have been an act of terrorism,” Mr. Turnbull told reporters in Melbourne. “The Australian Muslim community will be especially appalled and shocked by this. As NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and the Premier Mike Baird have noted, we must not vilify or blame the entire Muslim community with the actions of what is, in truth, a very, very small percentage of violent extremist individuals.”

Mr. Turnbull has spoken to the director-general of security at the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and Andrew Colvin; Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police about Friday’s shooting. The Prime Minister has also spoken with Attorney-General George Brandis about working on de-radicalisation programs for at-risk individuals, including vulnerable teens.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten agrees with Mr. Turnbull’s sentiments regarding any form of retribution towards the Muslim community, saying, “voices of division and disunity should not be allowed to dominate the national conversation”.

Jakob Barrett

$100 million boost to tackle domestic violence

The Turnbull government has recently announced it would channel $15 million into 12 areas across the country with the highest rates of domestic violence. The North-West Coast of Tasmania is one of the 12 at-risk areas. This funding is part of the $100 million Women’s Safety Package as announced by Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull last week. Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman said, “I applaud the Federal Government’s $100 million package to tackle family violence. This major investment complements the Tasmanian Government’s nation leading ‘Safe Home, Safe Families’ released last month.”

Federal Member for Braddon, Brett Whitely has also stated, “The services will be set up in areas with high reported levels of domestic violence by existing legal assistance providers who have a proven track record of providing services to women experiencing domestic violence… Clearly, society has failed women and children that have suffered at the hands of a violent partner. We must do more and do it quickly, but this is a good start.”

Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline free call number: 1800 007 339

Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline free call number: 1800 000 599

Jakob Barrett

Turnbull Defeats Abbott in Liberal Leadership Challenge

Malcolm Turnbull has been successful in the Liberal party leadership challenge this evening with Julie Bishop being reelected deputy leader. Despite various MP’s endorsements, the 54 to 44 vote sealed Tony Abbott’s fate. One of Turnbull’s reasons for the ballot was that apparently enough people had “made up their minds up about Mr. Abbott’s leadership”.

The results of the leadership spill seem to corroborate this theory.

Jakob Barrett

Liberal Leadership Challenge

After months of poor polling and internal conflict, a challenge has been issued to Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The Liberal’s ex-Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has had enough.  He announced in the news today that he will be challenging Tony Abbott for the position of Prime Minister with a leadership ballot. Turnbull stated in a media conference “It is not the fault of individual ministers. Ultimately, the Prime Minister has not been capable of providing the economic leadership our nation needs. He has not been capable of providing the economic confidence that business needs.”

Turnbull said that the government needs a new style of leadership that respects the voters’ intelligence, examined complex issues, set a course of action and justifies it. The government needs advocacy, not slogans. He went on to say, “If we continue with Mr. Abbott as Prime minister, it is clear enough what will happen. He will cease to be Prime Minister and Mr. Shorten will succeed him.”

The leadership vote is set to happen shortly.

Jakob Barrett