Bill's Speeches



Last night I congratulated Lisa Wilkinson on her remarkable success that she’s achieved at Today.

It’s fitting that after a decade of breaking news, grilling politicians and asking Australians to look at the world in a different way, her final act at Today was to put the national spotlight on the gender pay gap, a measure of inequality that, shamefully, has barely moved in thirty years.

Compared to their male colleagues, Australian women effectively work the first two months of the year, for free.

And, of course, we know gender inequality doesn’t stop at wages.

Too many Australian women at work are denied opportunities for leadership roles because of their gender, patronised and passed-over for promotions in favour of less-qualified men.

And we know, far too often, inequality in pay and opportunity is matched by discrimination or sexual harassment.

The ‘Me Too’ movement gathering force online demonstrates how many women, around the world, have confronted this scourge in their careers.

Mr Speaker, all these issues deserve more attention from our parliament.

But on this occasion, I simply say to Lisa: Good on you. Good on you for following your principles.

There are millions of Australian women who would have taken a small measure of comfort from your actions.

And I hope this morning, for the first time in ten years, you enjoyed a well-deserved sleep in.

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