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Senate agrees 150 days without a Sex Discrimination Commissioner in unacceptable

Media Release
Larissa Waters 3 Feb 2016

The Senate has passed an Australian Greens motion calling on the Turnbull Liberal Government to hurry up and appoint a Sex Discrimination Commissioner,  a position it has left vacant for 150 days.

"Women have been waiting on the Turnbull Liberal Government for more than 150 days now to appoint a new Sex Discrimination Commissioner," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and spokesperson for women, said.

"In that 150 days, we've seen rampant high-profile cases of sexism, including from Government Ministers, which a Sex Discrimination Commissioner could have spoken out about.

"Elizabeth Broderick, the former commissioner, was a strong gender-equality advocate who called out sexism and thankfully continues to do so unofficially.

"While Ms Broderick has left big shoes to fill, there are so many worthy women who would admirably carry on her exceptional legacy.

"To achieve gender equality, the Liberal Government needs to so much more than just deny a visa for an American sexist lunatic who incites rape.

"For a start it should heed the Senate's call and get on with appointing a woman as Sex Discrimination Commissioner.

"The Turnbull Government needs to reverse its funding cuts to domestic violence services and commit adequate funding to these services and domestic violence prevention.

"It must drop its attack on paid parental leave; stop threatening to charge women for pap smears and promote more women to Cabinet.

"We also need improved reporting by big businesses on their gender pay gaps; affordable accessible childcare and decriminalised, accessible abortion," Senator Waters said.


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