The Weekend Australian
Safety to top agenda at national cabinet
Scott Morrison and the national cabinet will meet in Darwin to reset the national agenda on women’s safety and economic security, as state and territory leaders commit to responding to Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins’ major report into sexual harassment in June.
The Prime Minister on Friday announced the national cabinet’s women-focused meeting in late July as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk pushed him and other leaders to support a national women’s summit.
Mr Morrison warned all governments must play a role in improving the lives of Australian women, and said a number of issues, including whether his government pursues a national plan for women’s economic security, would be canvassed at the Darwin meeting.
“No single government has full carriage of the issues that impact on women’s economic security,” he said in Canberra. “We all have a role to play so we will work off the information base of all the existing programs and activities, particularly post the development of most state and territory budgets and certainly the commonwealth budget.”
State and territory leaders will respond to Ms Jenkins’ Respect@Work report more than a year after she finished it, and the response comes amid weeks of mounting pressure over the Morrison government’s handling of rape and sexual harassment claims
Ms Jenkins’ report delivered 55 recommendations for preventing and addressing sexual harassment, which the Morrison government has agreed to inprinciple or in-part to six, and noted nine.
Mr Morrison also outlined plans to continue funding for family and domestic violence once the federal government’s $150m package — designed to help frontline workers with increased demand during COVID-19 — ends in late June.
He said domestic violence has continued to be an issue for vulnerable Australians as a result of COVID-19 and it was important the states and territories worked closely with the federal government for equally sharing the cost and delivery of programs.
Social Services Minister Anne Ruston is also setting up a summit on women’s safety to help inform the government’s approach to stopping domestic violence.