Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Inquiry into Child Custody Arrangements is not about Gender Politics

The Government’s reference to the Inquiry into child custody arrangements is about what is best for the child and it should not be used as an excuse to create gender conflict, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, said today.

“The Shadow Minister for Children and Youth’s description of the Inquiry as ‘dog whistle politics to men’s groups aggrieved by the family court’ at an ACTU launch today is an attempt to twist the debate into a discussion on gender politics,” Mr Anthony said.

“The Member for Gellibrand is clearly letting her role as Shadow Minister for Women dominate her responsibility for children. It is a real conflict of interest.

“I respect the Member’s long academic interest in women’s rights– but she must not let that cloud her vision when it comes to children and young people.

“The Opposition spokeswoman would know that children develop best when they grow up in loving, caring and nurturing environments and, in the event of family separation, children will be happier if they continue to have contact with both parents.

“This is why the Government is committed to ensuring that, where possible, children have the benefit of love and care from both female and male role models when the family is separated.

“If the Shadow Minister is unable to manage both portfolio responsibilities independently and provide fair representation to all stakeholders then she should pass on some of her responsibilities to someone who can,” Mr Anthony said.