Jenny Macklin and Women’s Economic Security

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Last week, I had the great privilege of hosting a conversation with the Hon. Jenny Macklin, a name that will be familiar to many in this chamber.

We spoke about the fight for women’s economic equality and reflected on her time in this place and the many reforms that she championed.
It made me even more proud to be part of a government that continues to build on the work laid by pioneers like Jenny Macklin. She was the driving force behind Australia’s first-ever paid parental leave scheme.

Now, just over a decade later, we’ve extended PPL to 20 weeks. It will increase to 26 weeks in 2026, benefitting more than 180,000 families each year and giving working mothers and families a better choice when it comes to balancing work and caring responsibilities.

When we returned to government, we made a deliberate effort to place women’s economic equality at the heart of everything we do.

From legislating domestic and family violence leave to supporting an historic 15 per cent pay increase for aged-care workers and extending paid parental leave.

But we know the work is far from over. That’s why the Minister for Women, Katy Gallagher, established the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce.

The taskforce was made up of 13 remarkable women, including, of course, Jenny Macklin. Their report provided us with an ambitious 10-year road map for reform, because we don’t want another wasted decade like we had under those opposite.

We want to create a better future for all Australians because that’s what Labor governments are all about.

ENDS