WA Senate Candidate Survey Results

After the Facebook content recently shared by the Australian Sports Party, Fair Agenda members expressed serious concern about where the candidates for the WA election stand on issues affecting women. As a result, this week Fair Agenda asked representatives from each of the parties running in the WA election to declare their positions on key issues that matter most to our members.

Earlier this year, hundreds of Fair Agenda members came together in communities across the country to tell us their top issues for the year. They are: representation of women, violence, pay equality and reproductive rights. 

There are specific questions we expect the new Senate will be required to consider on exactly these issues, so Fair Agenda asked the parties* exactly where they would stand on those questions.

The four questions we put to the parties were:

On representation

Fair Agenda members are concerned that women still remain dramatically under-represented in decision-making roles across business, media and politics.
Q: Do you have a policy to ensure gender balance in your party's representative roles?

On violence

Fair Agenda members are alarmed about the devastatingly high statistics of gender violence in this country – including the horrific statistic that a woman dies at the hand of a partner or former partner every week. The National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children sets out Australia’s framework for action on gendered violence - and the Second Action Plan will focus on building and introducing practical national initiatives to reduce violence against women and their children.
Q: Will you support fully funding the Second Action Plan under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Their Children, when it is released in coming months?

On pay equality

Fair Agenda members support equal pay for equal work. Sadly that’s not a reality; with Australia’s gender pay gap at 17.1%. The Workplace Gender Equality Act requires business to collect and disclose important data about gender in their workplace. Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick has said that ‘data is absolutely critical to moving ahead on [gender equality issues]’.
Q: Will you support maintaining current, or more detailed, levels of gender reporting for business under the Workplace Gender Equality Act?

On reproductive rights

Fair Agenda members are concerned about the increasing attacks by politicians on women’s ability to make decisions about their health and their family. At present, the Commonwealth Government positively impacts on women's access to reproductive health services through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. We want to ensure our elected representatives respect women’s rights - including their reproductive rights.

Q: The Commonwealth has some control over reproductive health services through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Will you support the maintenance of these arrangements?

We have received responses from nine of the candidates so far. Here's what they had to say:**

Show full responses from all the parties

Animal Justice Party

Q: Do you have a policy to ensure gender balance in your party's representative roles?
A: No policy.
Comment: Given we are a party whose sole agenda is to be a voice for non-human animals, we have no social justice policies. However, both WA candidates ARE women and we will always come from a place of compassion and justice on the issues we have no official policies on.

Q: Will you support fully funding the Second Action Plan under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Their Children, when it is released in coming months?
A: Yes.

Q: Will you support maintaining current, or more detailed, levels of gender reporting for business under the Workplace Gender Equality Act?
A: Yes

Q: The Commonwealth has some control over reproductive health services through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Will you support the maintenance of these arrangements?
A: Yes

Russell Woolf Group

Q: Do you have a policy to ensure gender balance in your party's representative roles?
A: Conditional yes
Comment: We are two candidates, [Russell Woolf] and Verity James, so enjoy a perfect gender balance.

Q: Will you support fully funding the Second Action Plan under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Their Children, when it is released in coming months?
A: Yes

Q: Will you support maintaining current, or more detailed, levels of gender reporting for business under the Workplace Gender Equality Act?
A: Yes

Q: The Commonwealth has some control over reproductive health services through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Will you support the maintenance of these arrangements?
A: Yes

Australian Greens

Q: Do you have a policy to ensure gender balance in your party's representative roles?
A: Yes.
Comment: We are proud to have more women than men in our parliamentary ranks, and have proactive policies in our party for pre-selection for female candidates and in party executive roles.

Q: Will you support fully funding the Second Action Plan under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Their Children, when it is released in coming months?
A: Yes.
Comment: We have been campaigning to ensure that this and other valuable gender initiatives are not slashed by the Abbott Government under the premise of tightening the budget belt.

Q: Will you support maintaining current, or more detailed, levels of gender reporting for business under the Workplace Gender Equality Act?
A: Yes.
Comment: We are committed to the provisions of the Workplace Gender Equality Act which provide for more detailed levels of gender reporting to have been initiated on 1 April 2014, and we oppose and will seek to disallow any weakening of these rules.

Q: The Commonwealth has some control over reproductive health services through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Will you support the maintenance of these arrangements?
A: Yes
Comment: We will continue to resist any attack on women's reproductive rights.

Rise Up Australia Party

Q: Do you have a policy to ensure gender balance in your party's representative roles?
A: No policy.
Comment: We don't as yet... we are still working on all our policies but gender equality is something we stand for.

Q: Will you support fully funding the Second Action Plan under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Their Children, when it is released in coming months?
A: Yes
Comment: Absolutely.

Q: Will you support maintaining current, or more detailed, levels of gender reporting for business under the Workplace Gender Equality Act?
A: Yes

Q: The Commonwealth has some control over reproductive health services through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Will you support the maintenance of these arrangements?
A: No policy.
Comment: Depending on what is meant by "reproductive health services". As a Party we want to see more support for women to be able to keep their babies.  

Kim Mubarak (Independent)

Q: Do you have a policy to ensure gender balance in your party's representative roles?
A: N/A
Fair Agenda Comment: This question is not applicable to independent candidates.

Q: Will you support fully funding the Second Action Plan under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Their Children, when it is released in coming months?
A: Yes
Comment: http://www.kimindependent.com.au

Q: Will you support maintaining current, or more detailed, levels of gender reporting for business under the Workplace Gender Equality Act?
A: Yes
Comment: http://www.kimindependent.com.au

Q: The Commonwealth has some control over reproductive health services through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Will you support the maintenance of these arrangements?
A: Yes
Comment: http://www.kimindependent.com.au

Pirate Party Australia

Q: Do you have a policy to ensure gender balance in your party's representative roles?
A: Yes

Q: Will you support fully funding the Second Action Plan under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Their Children, when it is released in coming months?
A: Yes

Q: Will you support maintaining current, or more detailed, levels of gender reporting for business under the Workplace Gender Equality Act?
A: Yes

Q: The Commonwealth has some control over reproductive health services through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Will you support the maintenance of these arrangements?
A: No policy

Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party

Q: Do you have a policy to ensure gender balance in your party's representative roles?
A: No policy
Comment: Our party only has one policy. To re-legalise cannabis for all adults

Q: Will you support fully funding the Second Action Plan under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Their Children, when it is released in coming months?
A: Yes
Comment: The Hemp Party is in favour of peace and love.

Q: Will you support maintaining current, or more detailed, levels of gender reporting for business under the Workplace Gender Equality Act?
A: Yes
Comment: Equal pay - of course. What's the arguement for unequal pay?

Q: The Commonwealth has some control over reproductive health services through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Will you support the maintenance of these arrangements?
A: Yes
Comment: Reproductive health services should be extended.

Australian Christians

Q: Do you have a policy to ensure gender balance in your party's representative roles?
A: No policy.
Comment: We are a very small party. We have 2 state directors, on male, one female. We have endorsed both male & female candidates.

Q: Will you support fully funding the Second Action Plan under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Their Children, when it is released in coming months?
A: Somewhat support.
Comment: Unfamiliar with details of plan but absolutely support any measures to prevent violence against women and children.

Q: Will you support maintaining current, or more detailed, levels of gender reporting for business under the Workplace Gender Equality Act?
A: No policy.
Comment: As a small business owner, I have never seen any award that allows for different pay rates according to gender, however, I am vary aware of the burden small business owner already face in gov. compliance an reporting. I would not be in favour of any legislation that increases that burden.

Q: The Commonwealth has some control over reproductive health services through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Will you support the maintenance of these arrangements?
A: No policy.
Comment: The Gov has some control over certain aspects of every citizens health through medicare & the PBS. I believe the only policy are that is relevant here is related to abortion which we oppose. We believe every human being has the right to life, including the unborn. See our policy page for further details.

Liberal Democratic Party

Q: Do you have a policy to ensure gender balance in your party's representative roles?
A: No policy.
Comment: We promote individuals within the party based on their capabilities. There is no scientific evidence that indicates having a vagina provides such a significant advantage in politics over having a penis that we should be promoting women over more qualified men as a result.

Q: Will you support fully funding the Second Action Plan under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Their Children, when it is released in coming months?
A: No.
Comment: The Liberal democrats are against all forms of non-consensual violence in equal measure. We're for equality, not special treatment based on gender.

Q: Will you support maintaining current, or more detailed, levels of gender reporting for business under the Workplace Gender Equality Act?
A: No.
Comment: Employment and remuneration should be a matter for negotiation between employee and employer. What somebody else gets paid by a different employer has no bearing on what you should be paid by yours. It is not the government's place to tell people how much they should pay their employees.

Q: The Commonwealth has some control over reproductive health services through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Will you support the maintenance of these arrangements?
A: No.
Comment: We fully support the rights of Australian women to make their own choices regarding health and reproduction. We also support the right of other people to not be forced to pay for those choices.

--

*We contacted all the parties who provided an email contact on the AEC website. Unfortunately we were not able to access current email addresses for the Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party or DLP Democratic Labour.

We have not yet received responses from: The Australian Sports Party
, The Wikileaks Party
, The Nationals
, Australian Democrats
, Australian Labor Party
, Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party
, Freedom and Prosperity Party
, Voluntary Euthanasia Party
, Australian Voice Party, Mutual Party
, Family First Party
, #Sustainable Population Party
, Palmer United Party
, Liberal Party
, Shooters and Fishers
, Republican Party of Australia
, Smokers Rights, Secular Party of Australia
, Katter's Australian Party
, Sex Party
, Socialist Alliance
, Outdoor Recreation Party (Stop the Greens)
, or Teresa Van Lieshout (Independent)
.

**We have displayed the answers of every party and candidate who responded to our survey. Those who are not represented did not respond to our survey. We will continue to update this page with new responses from parties up until polls open on Saturday. 

Authorised by Renee Carr, Fair Agenda, Lvl 1, 160 Clarence St, Sydney NSW 2000