House debates

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Statements by Members

Women: Economic Security

1:54 pm

Photo of Emma HusarEmma Husar (Lindsay, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Older Australian women in this country are the fastest-growing group of people living in poverty and the fastest-growing group of homeless people. Today Labor are announcing our new policy supporting women's superannuation, which will hopefully lead to a decrease in those horrific numbers. Women retire with significantly lower superannuation balances than men—40 per cent are lower than men's.

On this side of the House we have a Labor Status of Women Caucus Committee, which I've very proudly been the secretary of for the last two and a bit years. I want to thank all of the members of that committee, in particular the chair, Sharon Claydon, and all of the people who have worked so tirelessly. Whether it was from Perth to Penrith or Alice Springs to Adelaide, we held consultations right across this country, hearing from women about what it is they need from government, and what government needs to do, to act and change the story.

I am proud that our leadership team have acted and have made some tough decisions to be able to announce this $400 million package, which is a significant step in making sure that older women in this country are getting a fairer deal—from ensuring that recipients of Commonwealth paid parental leave, including the dads, continue to receive superannuation contributions, to phasing out the $450-minimum monthly income threshold for those who are able to receive superannuation payments. I want to commend the work of the Status of Women Caucus Committee and thank everybody who helped with those consultations.