Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Abbott dumps women from shadow cabinet

Tanya Plibersek today expressed disappointment at Tony Abbott’s decision to cut the number of women in senior positions on his new coalition front bench.

Today’s announcement means that that Tony Abbott’s so-called “Reshaped Coalition Team for Australia’s future” sees just two women in Shadow Cabinet – out of a total of 22.

This is down from three women out of 21 in the previous Shadow Cabinet.

By comparison, the Rudd Government has four female Cabinet Ministers.

“It’s extremely disappointing that Tony Abbott has chosen to reduce the number of women in his shadow cabinet,” Ms Plibersek said.

“This decision shows yet again that the Liberal Party is out of step with modern Australia.

“At a time when the nation has its first female Deputy Prime Minister and Governor General, plus three women on the High Court bench, the women of Australia expect better from Tony Abbott and his senior leadership team.”

In the Federal Parliament, around a quarter of Liberal Party MPs are female – compared to more than 35 per cent in the ALP.

The ALP elected 10 new female MPs at the 2007 election, part of a commitment which sets a minimum target of at least 40 per cent female candidates and at least 40 per cent male candidates by 2012.