Every day I am reminded that Australian women have so much to contribute, and that our workplaces and communities do not always recognise and support this. There is much to do to fight family violence and address structural unfairness in the workforce. My goal is that Australian women and girls, those already in the workforce, the carers, and the elderly, live with equality, dignity and safety.
This piece was first published in Challenge Magazine, on Sunday, 10 May 2020.
Evidence provided today at the Senate Economic Legislation Committee’s public hearing clearly shows that the government’s proposed Superannuation Amnesty Bill will do nothing to address the systemic issue of non-payment or underpayment of super or support workers who have had their superannuation stolen by unscrupulous employers.
Well, everyone understands that there is a serious problem when it comes to women and retirement incomes. And yesterday, Women in Super wrote to the Treasurer asking him to make one very specific change to the Review into Retirement Incomes. They are asking that a Terms of Reference be added to specifically require the Inquiry to consider the needs of women.
Women in Australia currently retire with almost 50% less superannuation than men and 23% of women retire with no superannuation savings at all. Women in retirement are more likely to face poverty, housing stress and homelessness. Despite this, the Government has failed to specifically include women in the Terms of Reference of their Retirement Income Review.
Gender pay gap has moved around over time but it remains the case that women are earning, when you take into account total remuneration, $23,000 a year less than men on average. It is actually time for some action and I am enormously proud of the announcement that will be made today. The Labor Party is setting out a series of reforms to the Fair Work Commission that will make it easier for the Commission to make orders in relation to low paid feminised industries.
I couldn’t be prouder than I am today - to be part of the Labor team. On Sunday Bill Shorten told us that from the very first day, a Labor government would strive to deliver equal pay. And today, Tanya and Brendan have announced very significant legal and institutional changes that will do just that.
Since its creation in 2009, the National Security College has acted as nexus between academic thinking and government activity. I think that over the coming years, the National Security College will be seen as one of the more important innovations of the last government. It represents a significant intellectual investment in our policy capacity.
Thanks for inviting me to speak to you all today. I acknowledge the significant contribution of the National Council of Women, Australia in promoting issues important to the lives of Australian women, since its establishment in 1931.
Documents tabled out of session in the Senate yesterday reveal that five years after coming to office, this Government still has no real plan to close the gender pay gap. Last year, the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee handed down its report into gender segregation in the workplace and its impact on women’s economic equality.