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Abbott's comments irresponsible.

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MEDIA STATEMENT MEDIA STATEMENT MEDIA STATEMENT MEDIA STATEMENT Hon Dr Carmen Lawrence MP Shadow Minister for Reconciliation, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Affairs; the Arts and Status of Women

Federal Member for Fremantle

Monday, 1 July 2002

Abbott’s Comments Irresponsible

I am astonished by Tony Abbott's comments today likening a bad boss to a bad husband or father.

At an industrial relations' conference in Sydney today, Mr Abbott said,

"If we're honest, most of us would accept that a bad boss is a little bit like a bad father or a bad husband - not withstanding all of his faults you find he tends to do more good than harm. He might be a bad boss but at least he's employing someone while he is in fact a boss."

What does Mr Abbott mean by a "bad father" or a "bad husband'? Does he draw the line at physical and sexual abuse, for example? What would he advise women and mothers to do in these circumstances? Stay and put up with it?

Is Mr Abbott suggesting that we learn to live in seriously dysfunctional families just because the man brings in an income? This is precisely the advice that sees so many women stay in destructive relationships, leading to escalating violence and abuse. Minister, it is very bad advice for women and for employees.

Women who have been in abusive and violent relationships will attest that this is bad advice. No one should be encouraged to stay in such relationships nor should children be exposed to continuing abuse. Putting up with "bad" behaviour from husbands, fathers and employers is damaging to all involved.

Contact: Amber-Jade Sanderson Ph: (08) 9335 8555 or 0409 132 975