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Tuesday, 27 November 2018
Page: 11615


Mrs WICKS (Robertson) (14:44): My question is to the Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations and the Minister for Women. Will the minister update the House on how a strong economy helps the government support women to take control of their financial future? What are the risks associated with a different approach?

Ms O'DWYER (HigginsMinister for Women and Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations) (14:44): I thank the member for Robertson for her question. I know that, as a mum and a former teacher, she is absolutely passionate about young women being able to fulfil their full potential. Like all of those on this side of the chamber, she wants the women of Australia to not only survive but thrive. We know that, when Australian women do well, their families do well and our economy and our nation prosper. I'm very happy to report that our government is building on the achievements that we have already laid down. We are helping women to build their financial security. We recognise that girls and women deserve an equal stake in our economy and in our nation. It is one of the reasons we delivered the first ever Women's Economic Security Statement, which includes a number of measures to help women to be able to build their financial future. We want them to be able to take control of their financial future.

Just one example of the new measures in this Women's Economic Security Statement is the Future Female Entrepreneurs' Program. We want to make sure those women who want to start a business, to create an economic opportunity for themselves and for others, have the capacity to do so. This is particularly true for all of those women in rural and regional communities. This is why we are backing them. We are backing them with this particular program and we are doing it because we recognise that today around a third of all businesses are operated by women. We know that the potential is there for there to be so many more. Around 55,000 girls and young women will benefit from this program.

I was asked the question: 'Are there risks to this potentially very bright future for Australian women?' There are; they are sitting opposite. We will deliver our programs and our measures without raising taxes, because we, as Liberals, believe in lowering taxes and in smaller government. We believe in individuals being able to be free to choose their own path in life. We will support them in that choice. That is why under our economic plan as a government we have been delivering record female employment. There are more women in work than ever before. There are more women in full-time work than ever before and we have seen a reduction in the gender pay gap, which went up under the previous Labor government but has come down under us. They do not want the $200 billion of new or increased taxes that Labor would deliver. (Time expired)