December 22, 2014 – 12:25PM
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has been forced to defend the Prime Minister’s views on women after Tony Abbott nominated repealing the carbon tax as his biggest contribution for women in 2014.
There is no issue too big for Tony Abbott to show how small he is as a thinker
Mr Abbott was asked on breakfast television on Monday morning to nominate his biggest achievement as Minister for Women.
He replied: “Well, you know, it is very important to do the right thing by families and households. As many of us know, women are particularly focused on the household budget and the repeal of the carbon tax means a $550 a year benefit for the average family”.
In opposition, Mr Abbott spruiked his anti-carbon tax campaign by claiming the “housewives of Australia” would benefit from a repeal because it would lower electricity costs associated with ironing.
Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese claimed Mr Abbott’s latest comment demonstrated he was not just stuck in the past but wanted to take the country back in time with him.
“There is no issue too big for Tony Abbott to show how small he is as a thinker,” Mr Albanese told Fairfax Media.
“The problem isn’t that Tony Abbott’s stuck in the past, it’s that he wants the rest of Australia to go back there and keep him company in a world where men do the big jobs and women do the ironing.”
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who until Sunday’s ministerial reshuffle was the Coalition’s only female cabinet member, was forced to defend Mr Abbott’s comments when speaking to the media in Adelaide.
“Women’s policy is everyone’s policy,” the deputy Liberal leader said. “What’s good for women is good for the community generally.
“I think the Prime Minister was focusing on the policy change that would have the largest impact on families and households and getting rid of the carbon tax is certainly that.”
Ms Bishop welcomed Sussan Ley to the Cabinet’s female ranks as the new Health Minister, as well as the promotions of two female backbenchers – Victorian MP Kelly O’Dwyer and Queensland MP Karen Andrews – to the rank of parliamentary secretaries.
Ms O’Dwyer and her ally, ousted Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella, have both been vocal in calling for more female representation in the executive.