Boom in ba­bies breaks Bud­get


MICHAEL Sukkar, the fed­eral Min­is­ter tasked with tack­ling hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity, had planned to be in Can­berra on Tues­day night when the Coali­tion un­veiled its lon­gawaited hous­ing pack­age. But baby Leo had other ideas.

Mr Sukkar was one of two mem­bers of the gov­ern­ment’s eco­nomic team miss­ing from Par­lia­ment this week due to a Bud­get sea­son baby boom.

Mr Sukkar, the As­sis­tant Min­is­ter to the Trea­surer, spent Bud­get day in hospi­tal af­ter his wife Anna gave birth to the cou­ple’s first child, Leo, ear­lier than ex­pected.

The ju­nior min­is­ter said while he had spent months help­ing pre­pare the bud­get, his wife and son needed him more than Scott Mor­ri­son did.

“Leo ar­rived a bit ear­lier than ex­pected, prov­ing that the best-laid plans can come un­stuck,” Mr Sukkar said.

“He re­ar­ranged my Bud­get week and re­ar­ranged our lives, but all for the bet­ter.”

Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Min­is­ter Kelly O’Dwyer, the first front­bencher to give birth while serv­ing as a Cab­i­net mem­ber, watched Mr Mor­ri­son de­liver his fed­eral bud­get speech from her lounge­room while feed­ing four-week old son Ed­ward.

“It was very odd not be­ing there,” Ms O’Dwyer said.

“But I was beamed in to a Cab­i­net meet­ing prior to the Bud­get and wished them luck.”

Ms O’Dwyer didn’t miss out on all the ac­tion, host­ing her an­nual Hig­gins Post-Bud­get Break­fast. While not tak­ing full ma­ter­nity leave, Ms O’Dwyer has cut back on travel since giv­ing birth last month but plans to re­turn to Can­berra be­fore the win­ter break.

Michael Sukkar.


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