Julia Gillard has made an exception to campaign with Anthony Albanese on election eve, where she spoke about one big issue in politics.
Julia Gillard has called on the Coalition to adopt a 50 per cent quota for women to fix the workplace cultural problems in Parliament House, saying Labor’s affirmative action policy had made a difference.
Australia’s first and only female Prime Minister appeared out and about in South Australia with Labor leader Anthony Albanese on election eve, in a rare campaign appearance since she was knifed from the top job.
“It’s a pleasure to be here and as you know I don’t do this much anymore,” she told reporters.
“I never do it anymore but I have made particular exception today and the reason I’ve done that is because I wanted to come and support my friend, Albo.
“Albo and I might look really young but the truth is that we have known each other for more than 40 years, right back to when we were university students.
“And with the authority that the more than 40 years of friendship gives me, I can certainly say the following about Albo.
“He is ready to be the Prime Minister, he will be a great Prime Minister.”
Ms Gillard said she had a “particular message for Australian women”.
“Having served as the only woman to hold the job as Prime Minister, you would know in the years since that I’ve made my focus women’s leadership, among the biggest things that I do,” she said.
“What I want to see for this country is a government that cares about, values and includes women.
“And I know that a government led by Albo will do precisely that.”
Ms Gillard was asked about whether she believed a change in government alone could fix the culture within Parliament House, following harrowing accounts from females working there.
She pointed to the fact that Labor had an affirmative action policy.
It says that from 2022 the “minimum percentage” of women in all levels of the party should be 45 per cent and from 2025, 50 per cent.
“To change the culture of Parliament House you’ve got to include more women,” she said.
“Our political party sends around half men, half women, to the parliaments of Australia, the national parliament and the state parliaments.
“For a long period of time, I’ve been advocating the conservative side of politics take a similar step. And if they did, then we would have a parliament that was half men and half women, and that is really important to changing the culture.”
Earlier Ms Gillard was asked about funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which she introduced as Prime Minister, “spiralling out of control”.
But Mr Albanese said “we might leave questions for Julia at the end”.
However the female reporter who had asked that didn’t get a chance to repeat the question.