15 March 2021
I rise today on behalf of the 55,000 women in Lilley and the 100,000 people who just marched across this country—marching for justice—to ask: 'What happens now?' This is a government that is now infamous for its inaction in the face of direct demands for action; a government that loves to pivot to an inquiry in the hopes that the media will just blow it all away in the course of days; a government that would love to investigate things ad infinitum rather than actually get something done; a government that has made 19 reports into aged care since 1997, 11 since the Prime Minister was Treasurer or PM himself, and yet only now says that something must be done but has yet to spell it out; a government that has looked into disability, has made a royal commission into disability, and, when it was written to six months ago asking for an extension, has not even got back to them; and a government that had a national inquiry into sexual assault last year and was given 55 recommendations and has maybe generously implemented four. The government needs to tell 55,000 women in Lilley and 100,000 people across the country what it is going to do now.
Systemic issues are not created in a vacuum. They are created in lethargy. They are created in apathy. They are created in malaise. The PM might say that he doesn't hold a hose, but today he doesn't hold a microphone either. I guess they are not quiet Australians anymore.