Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Coalition tells families to “see what happens” on paid parental leave

The chaos and confusion surrounding Tony Abbott’s toxic paid parental leave policy has reached new heights today.

This morning, Nationals Senator John Williams put the Coalition’s unfair and costly policy off to the never-never, saying an Abbott Government will “look at the situation” in three years and “see what happens”.

Well Mr Abbott has made it quite clear that it will be towards the end of a term if we are elected to government – three years’ time or so. So obviously he’ll have a look at the situation then.

I make no secret about it – some do have reservations about it. But what we’ll do is see what happens in three years if we are elected.

– Senator John Williams, Doorstop, 29 May 2013

In the face of a growing revolt, Tony Abbott is clearly promising his colleagues behind closed doors that he’ll delay the policy, or not deliver it at all.

This is despite telling families:

This is the settled policy of the Coalition.

– Tony Abbott, Australian Financial Review, 29 May 2013

Senator Williams also spoke on behalf of the Nationals after the last election, trashing Tony Abbott’s policy and calling for it to be scrapped.

I thought that was over-generous and neglected the stay-at-home mums. Obviously this will be reviewed and I make no secret about it.

Senator John Williams, The Australian, 11 September 2010

While Tony Abbott has spent the past three years trying to hold off the party room revolt against his ‘signature policy’, Labor has delivered a fair and affordable scheme that has already benefitted more than 280,000 parents.

Under Labor, working women will continue to benefit from Australia’s first national Paid Parental Leave scheme.

If Tony Abbott is elected Prime Minister, working women will have to “see what happens”.

Australian families have a choice – between a Labor Government that looks out for them, or an Opposition Leader who will cut to the bone and leave them behind.