Monday, 14 October 2019
Matters of Public Importance
Girls Takeover Parliament
It's great that young women have a chance to rub shoulders with the female political leaders of today through the Girls Takeover Parliament program. It is important that young women and young men have a chance to observe and experience leadership up close, because they may well be our leaders of the future. My only hope is that they are getting solid and sensible advice and not being led astray. It is also very important that they have a chance, as the MPI reads, to raise 'the issues of concern to young women in Australia'. I would suggest that one of the issues of concern they should make sure they're aware of is the very raw deal being handed to Australia's dairy farmers at present. A lot of these young women are from the dairy industry and have a background in the farming sector, and I'm sure they can see their parents doing it very hard in the farming sector. Dairy farmers are going broke because the costs of production are increasing, including as a result of increased electricity prices—which is, incidentally, a government charge and the result of a government policy—and, of course, increasing water prices, which are also the result of government policy.
I welcome young women to take the lead and try to further themselves in our society and, hopefully in future, become leaders of this nation in this parliament, as I have had the opportunity to, but I would also like the parliament to acknowledge young men. We can push women's issues, but there are a lot of men out there who should be given the same opportunities and who feel they are being let down by our society. It is very important—and I say this to the families out there: 'You may be pushing for women to go further in our nation, but don't forget about giving the young men of our nation the same opportunities and encouragement as well.' I think that's very important. As a mother of three boys and one girl, I encourage them all equally.