14 JUNE 2013
SUBJECTS: Claims made in book, sexism
REPORTER: It’s being reported that you considered challenging Ms Gillard for the leadership last year but you feared looking like a traitor. How accurate are those reports?
SHORTEN: This would be the literary version of an April Fool’s Day joke. It’s not true
REPORTER: Arron Patrick’s book has made these claims and also that MPs have privately urged you to challenge Ms Gillard last year, how do you describe those claims about the MPs?
SHORTEN: They’re not true and I’d be happy to see any MPs named who urged me.
REPORTER: Was Australia ready for a female Prime Minister?
REPORTER: Considering what we’ve seen with Howard Sattler, what do you make of those comments? I know you touched on those just inside before.
SHORTEN: Leaving aside the other points earlier which just aren’t right. In terms of sexism in Australia, it is alive and well sadly. We’ve seen this week a number of different incidents.
If the Prime Minister had been a man, I do not believe, would have been subjected to some of the abuse that Julia Gillard’s been subjected to.
More generally in Australia, why should our daughters, the next generation, have to go through what their mothers have gone through. There is a real issue about sexism. We see it when you turn up to the workplace. Also I see that some of the election policies being argued out are not women friendly in the workplace.
Why on earth are the Liberal Party introducing a 15 per cent tax on the superannuation contributions of people who earn less than $37,000?
2.2 million Australians who earn less than $37,000 are women.
The Liberal Party is proposing a tax on superannuation contributions of, predominantly, women. That isn’t going to help people save for their retirement.
In terms of the abuse that the Prime Minister has had, I wouldn’t expect that my daughters should have to put up with that and I am sure that no Conservative or Labor person would want their daughters to put up with this, or their wives or their sisters or their mothers. So why is it allowed to happen to our Prime Minister?
You can argue the merit of you know, economic policies between us and the Conservatives, or workplace relations, you know, the policies. But I think people’s personal lives should be off limits and especially as we know it’s a trigger because I don’t believe that men, in the Prime Minister’s position, have been subjected to the same barrage of insults.
REPORTER: Just going back to that previous question. Was Australia ready for a female Prime Minister just given the sexism you’ve mentioned there?
BILL SHORTEN: Australia can only the best country on earth if men and women in Australia are treated equally. This country does not have time for the old-fashioned sexist rubbish of the past. Women deserve equal treatment to men. Someone once said, can women have it all? My answer is, women should have what men have, which is a fair go.
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