House debates

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Statements by Members

Wilkinson, Ms Lisa, AM

1:57 pm

Photo of Melissa PriceMelissa Price (Durack, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise today to reflect on the events that transpired last week in regard to Lisa Wilkinson leaving Channel 9 and the Today show because of a perceived gap between what she was paid and what her co-host, Karl Stefanovic, was paid. Those opposite came in here enraged and made many statements condemning Channel 9 for not offering Ms Wilkinson equal pay to her male co-star. There is an argument that the pay difference was nothing to do with gender. There is an argument that there were other factors relating to talent availability and also who had the greater star qualities, but that argument was apparently lost on those opposite.

Where is the rage from those opposite on the disparity in pay conditions between male and female construction workers, for example? Where is their rage when we're talking about female surgeons or lawyers? I have experienced firsthand what it feels like not to be paid the same as your male colleagues when you're doing the same job, and you are also doing the same job as a young female lawyer.

Of course it galls me that this was happening here in Australia, so I would like to encourage my colleagues on the other side of the chamber to apply that same fight and fervour that we saw when they discussed Lisa Wilkinson to champion the plight of females working in other professions and not to jump on the coat-tails of a celebrity.