Australia politics live: Christian Porter takes defamation action against ABC; Qld has ‘major concern’ over PNG Covid outbreak – question time


Not so much a tin ear as a wall of concrete.

We had today women gather around Australia with a few very clear and unambiguous messages, hear us roar.

The Prime Minister needs to listen.

To listen to what women are saying about what is happening in this building, and outside.

They said enough is enough.

And what I saw outside was passionate women who are angry, they are angry about what has happened to them, they are angry about what has happened to their mothers, their grandmothers, their sisters, their daughters and their granddaughters. And they’re crying out that this is a moment that requires leadership.

And it requires leadership from this Prime Minister. it requires leadership from this Prime Minister.

And we are not getting it, Prime Minister. We need an independent inquiry into the allegations that have been made against the Attorney-General. We know from the former Solicitor-General, Justin Gleeson, that would be an entirely appropriate thing to do.

And, frankly, for a government that had an inquiry into a kitchen renovation of a former Prime Minister long before she was in parliament, I find it quite frankly incredible some of the arguments that have been used by this government to reject that proposition.

The fact is that day after day more information has come out. Over recent days James Hookes made references about what he said with the woman at the centre of the allegations and conversations that he says he had way back in the early 1990s with the current Attorney-General.

These are all issues that require examination. Because the idea, as the Prime Minister has said, that we can just move on, that what has been happening over recent days and weeks can be unseen and unheard is just not fair dinkum.

It can’t be, which is why people are angry and frustrated, which is why we need to do better. All of us need to do better.

All political parties, all businesses, all workplaces, our entire society. Because sexual assault and these issues are about the power imbalance in society. That’s what it’s about. And that’s why women are demanding change.

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