Queensland Senate candidates on parental leave
Report back on Cassie & Kate's meeting with Senate candidate Suzanne Grant (NXT)
Like you, Cassie & Kate are Fair Agenda members concerned about threats to our paid parental leave system. That’s why last week they met with Queensland Senate candidate Suzanne Grant, to find out if she would vote to protect parental leave if elected.
As you are no doubt aware, for the past year the Coalition Government have been trying to make cuts to paid parental leave. And, for the past year, community campaigning has made it impossible for the Abbott and Turnbull Governments to pass those cuts through the Senate.
Unfortunately, despite huge community concern, the Coalition Government haven't abandoned their plans to make cuts to new parents' paid time at home; which means that if they are re-elected next month, we can expect they will again try to cut paid parental leave.
It means electing Senators committed to protecting new parents' time at home with their newborns is absolutely critical.
Analysis is continuing to show that in our next parliament minor parties will again make up the Senate "crossbench" -- that's the group who generally end up with casting votes on any issue where the Government and Opposition are split. With the Labor Party opposed to any cuts to our paid parental leave system, we can expect the minor parties will end up with the deciding votes on any proposed cuts.
The latest analysis suggests that in Queensland there are four candidates who might end up with one of the critical "crossbench" Senate seats: Suzanne Grant for the Nick Xenophon Team, Andrew Bartlett for The Greens, Glenn Lazarus from the Glenn Lazarus Team and Pauline Hanson from One Nation.
Any of these candidates could end up with a key balance of power role in the next Senate.
The Greens and Glenn Lazarus are already on the record as being opposed to any cuts to paid parental leave.
That's why Cassie and Kate met with Ms Grant last week - to present thousands of signatures from Fair Agenda members like you who are opposed to cuts - and to find out whether Ms Grant would stand up for new parents' time at home if elected.
They're pleased to report back that:
Suzanne Grant has confirmed that if elected she and the Nick Xenophon Team would not support any cuts to the paid parental leave system.
Ms Grant also affirmed that she believes the current system should be treated as a minimum standard, and recognises that it is by no means close to world leading. She also noted that she and the Nick Xenophon Team would support expansion and flexibility within the current parental leave system, as long as it didn't reduce the amount of leave support available to any parent.
Cassie and Kate attended last week's meeting on behalf of thousands of Fair Agenda members like you. They wanted to report back on the outcome because they know that like us, many Fair Agenda members will be thinking about this issue when they cast their vote on the 2nd of July.
The Fair Agenda team are working to put together a scorecard summarising all of the parties' positions on this important issue. To make sure you receive a copy, sign up to the campaign here: http://www.fairagenda.org/ppl
1. Turnbull Government shelves changes to Paid Parental Leave, News.com.au, 6 April 2016.
2. Cuts to parental leave shaping up as an election issue, Women's Agenda, 7 April 2016.
3. Federal election 2016: Name recognition a key to Senate race, The Age, 5 June 2016.
4. Federal election 2016: Name recognition a key to Senate race, The Age, 5 June 2016.
Authorised by Renee Carr, Fair Agenda, Suite 103, 55 Holt Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010.