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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Question QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE Coalition Cabinet: Gender Equality Tuesday, 2 February 2016 Clive Palmer – Member for Fairfax Responder Turnbull, Malcolm, MP Mr PALMER (Fairfax) (14:46): My question is to the Prime Minister. The Canadian Prime Minister is supporting a gender balanced cabinet because ‘it is 2016’. Women received the vote in our country in 1902, yet there are still few women in cabinet. Talents and abilities are distributed equally. Domestic violence destroys our families for lack of role models. I do not accept that merit is not distributed equally. Will the government support gender equality in cabinet, with each gender entitled to a minimum of 40 per cent representation? Mr Ewen Jones interjecting— The SPEAKER: The member for Herbert will cease interjecting. Mr Ewen Jones interjecting— The SPEAKER: The member for Herbert is warned. The Prime Minister. Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth—Prime Minister) (14:47): I thank the honourable member for Fairfax for his question and I note his interest in gender equality. All of us, I believe, would like to see more women in this parliament. Perhaps when the Palmer United Party gets together its slate for the next election there will be an equal balance between men and women on that list of candidates—and perhaps a future Palmer government could aspire to equal representation of men and women. There are now more women than before in our coalition cabinet; we now have five women in the cabinet. I can understand the honourable member’s desire that there should be more, and I welcome that intent. Speaking for the Liberal Party and the National Party, I can ensure the honourable member that we are committed to seeing more women in the parliament—in the House and in the Senate—and, as a consequence, in the ministry. We share that objective. But, as the honourable member knows, these changes cannot happen instantaneously. The Canadian Prime Minister was, of course, able to come into the parliament with a very large delegation of new members—a gigantic swing—and a very large delegation in his party room of women from which to draw his ministry. Clive Palmer and constituents in Fairfax 158 The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia


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