Straight from the Senate - Issue 16
5.00pm | April 13, 2017
Welcome to a short, Easter edition of Straight from the Senate. This week’s newsletter was a little late, so we are sharing this brief additional update before we head into the Easter break. Travel safe and go easy on the chocolate.
1. On Monday I chaired the first Senate Hearing of the Inquiry into Gender Segregation in the Workforce in Melbourne.
Check out what workers in the social services sector had to say about low pay for women.We heard evidence from key unions and employer organisations including the ACTU, the ASU, the SA, the National Foundation for Australian Women and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Witnesses highlighted the lack of any clear national policy objective for equal remuneration, and failure to address the historic undervaluation of jobs and industries traditionally performed by women. Check out my Huffington Post oped on this subject from Monday and also this interesting piece about the lack of flexible work available to women in the Police force.
2. On Tuesday I chaired the Senate Inquiry into the relocation of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority from Canberra to Armidale - Barnaby Joyce’s electorate.
We heard from agricultural stakeholders that the relocation has the potential to seriously and negatively impact the agriculture sector. This deeply flawed relocation plan has the potential to strip out up to 90 per cent of the scientific personnel, who are the heart of the APVMA’s capability. Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Joel Fitzgibbon and I discussed these issues at a doorstop.
Housing Affordability is the topic of the moment. After years of pretending there is no issue the Coalition has finally recognised that we have a problem. Unfortunately, their solutions offer little of genuine value to young people seeking to enter the market. The media are diligently reporting the deliberate leaks in the lead up to the Budget, and I was aghast to see the latest, a plan for young people and first home buyers to use their superannuation towards a property purchase.