This week marked a moment in our history when many thousands of Australians took to the streets to demand respect, justice, and safety for women. As both an elected representative, and a man, I hear the anger, the hurt, and acknowledge the disregard for women that has led to this fork in our road. I am horrified at the levels of abuse, intimidation, harassment, discrimination and violence against women in this our great south land.
Women will drive this change. I hope more men will join them. Politicians, need to be quiet, listen and learn. Actions, not words, count. And I will play my part.
I have written to the Prime Minister requesting two actions be taken immediately. The first, is to convene a national gathering of women that represent women’s peak organisations and every local government area to recommend to parliament the pathway to real and lasting change in our homes, our workplaces, and on the streets.
Next, I have asked the Prime Minister to introduce a gender impact statement for all cabinet submissions, new policies and legislation. It is a privilege to be in a position where we can affect change and commit to justice, safety and respect for Australian women of all ages and so enrich the nation.
We are all responsible and accountable. It is no accident that we are here for such a time as this. For the women of Australia this is not negotiable. The tide has turned.
That’s just as I see it.