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Thursday, 13 September 2018
Page: 8975

Women in Parliament

Ms PLIBERSEK (SydneyDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:55): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to the Prime Minister's answer on gender quotas yesterday. Was the member for Brisbane describing government policy when he rejected gender quotas on the basis that female politicians are 'all a cardboard cut-out'? Does the Prime Minister agree? Why are quotas for the National Party okay but quotas for women not?

Mr MORRISON (CookPrime Minister) (14:56): I've learned in this place, as a minister and now the Prime Minister, that you can never believe anything the Labor Party put in their questions. They're quite used to verballing people in the union movement, and they seek to verbal people here in this place. When it comes to the selection of candidates to represent the Liberal Party in this place, that is done by our rank and file membership, which is made up of men and women from all walks of life throughout the country, and they'll be doing that in Wentworth tonight as they select their candidate.

But I know about the Labor Party. I know who picks their candidates. I know exactly who picks their candidates: the unions, the militant unions. There are the deals between the CFMEU, the deals between militant unions. They're the ones who decide who sits on the Labor Party benches in the parliament, whether it's here or it's in the other place, or whether it's in the New South Wales parliament or the Victorian parliament.

I asked them the other day to put up their hands if they were a former trade union official. I'll ask them again. I'll give you another go. Nothing? Still nothing? You must be so proud. I'll ask those on this side of the House: who's ever run a small business here? Here we go! Who's ever worked in the private sector here? Here we go! Who's been a police officer here? Here we go! We've got a police officer up the back. Who is a farmer on this side of the House? We've got some farmers over here. We've got medical practitioners. Who has ever served in the Australian defence forces on this side of the House? The Liberal-National Party is the party of ordinary, everyday Australians going out there every day, having a go and getting a go. That's what we stand for. The Labor Party stands for Labor controlled by the unions—union bred, union fed, union led.