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Scott Morrison is about to deliver the Closing the Gap statement to the House.

Here is some of what he had to say at the International Women’s Day breakfast which was held this morning in Parliament House (parliament isn’t scheduled to sit again until April after this next week, so they are holding it now. And yes, there is an International Men’s Day and it is in November).

Last year Kelly [O’Dwyer] addressed the National Press Club and she had something to say that I think is timeless. She said, “Gender equality isn’t about pitting girls against boys. Or women against men. It’s about recognising that girls and women deserve an equal stake in our economy and our society. It’s not about conflict.” It’s about what the message of the day is about. Which is about doing this together. She said, “Life is not a zero sum game, we’re on a life journey together.” And she’s right about that. Kelly said she was speaking as the mother of a son and a daughter. I suspect, on occasion, those boys and girls are against each other, but I’m sure Mum and Dad sort it out.

I’m the blessed father of two beautiful young girls and they are of course the joy of my and Jenny’s life. And my girls, like all of our children, allow us as parents to see the world through new eyes, through young eyes, through fresh eyes. And when I see the girls I want them to be able to pursue their passions. I want them to be absolutely confident that they can chase their dreams, whatever they are. And receive the same rewards for their hard work and their beliefs and their passions as their male counterparts, as indeed I’ve had the blessing to do over my life. I want them as adults to have real choices so they can decide what works best for them and their families and not be judged for it. I want them to be free from harassment and violence. I want them to be able to walk the streets of Australia. And I want them to be safe in their home, both today and always in the future.


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Linda Burney spoke ahead of the latest Closing the Gap report release:

The 2014 budget brought down by this government was horrendous for Aboriginal affairs. $500 million was ripped out of the Aboriginal affairs budget. You do not fix the issues in Aboriginal communities by taking away half a billion dollars out of the budget. There needs to be a recommitment to partnership with Aboriginal people and organisations. We are calling on that partnership. We are saying very clearly that peak Aboriginal organisations and Aboriginal communities have the answers to the social issues that dog those communities.

Scott Morrison today says he’s going to make an announcement about removing HECS fees for teachers to go and work in remote communities. Well that just ignores the fact that 79% of Aboriginal people live in urban environments. In fact, that number is very real. 79% of Aboriginal people living in urban environments. Yes, the issues in remote communities are shocking. They need to be addressed, but the Prime Minister and this government ignores that two thirds of Aboriginal people actually live in urban environments.

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