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Tuesday, 8 November 2016
Page: 2202


Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (18:12): I rise to briefly add my comments to the report of the Procedure Committee. I am the senator who has experienced the consequences of bringing an infant into the chamber. It was in 2008 that my young daughter, Cora, was here for a division on a Thursday afternoon, sitting quietly, until she was asked to be removed. Those of you who were here at the time would remember what a kerfuffle it caused. I tell the story often at dinner parties, and my daughter says: 'Stop, mum! Stop! One day I want to be able to go back into that chamber and feel welcomed.' I think that now we have changed these rules I might put her here in the advisers box the next time she is in Canberra and she can see that things do move on.

Cora is the symbol in my life of how this place needs to become more family friendly if we are to encourage more young women into politics. I acknowledge that these rules, as accepted by the Procedure Committee and therefore by this chamber, are very similar to the changes that were advocated for following the incident with my daughter by former senator Bob Brown. I thank him for his leadership on this issue. He was there for me on the day. He stood by me every step of the way throughout the debate. He proudly refers to that incident with Cora as 'the incident with the little stranger'. I think that a lot of respect and remembrance of his leadership, particularly of encouraging young women into this place and the consequences for families across the board, should be recognised as we pass this report here today. Thank you.

Question agreed to.