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COMMUNITY AFFAIRS LEGISLATION COMMITTEE - 14/05/2010 - Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010; Exposure draft of legislation implementing the government's announced paid parental leave scheme

Senator Hanson Young -In the submissions given by the ACTU and Unions South Wales, and in your verbal submissions as well, both of you indicated that there were significant improvements that you would be looking for in the future. I do pick up on the points you have made about wanting to strengthen the current legislation now in connection to the workplace, and that is something that we need to tease out a bit further.

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Families Need Six Months Paid Parental Leave

The Federal Government must seize the historic opportunity to deliver a proper six-month paid parental leave plan for Australian families, according to Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Senator Hanson-Young, Greens Spokesperson on the Status of Women, says the Government's decision not to take advantage of the consensus in favour of real reform on paid parental leave is disappointing.

"We hoped that the Government would see the light and move to improve its plan to provide Australian families with a quality parental leave scheme,'' Senator Hanson-Young said.

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Young People Need Jobs Support Not Scapegoating

Youth unemployment is a serious issue that cannot be dealt with by making scapegoats of young people and taking away social security payments, according to Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Senator Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson on Youth, says comments by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott about removing unemployment benefits from people under 30 are all about making headlines but add nothing to the debate.

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Six Months Plus Super Is the Way Forward

The Federal Government's take-it-or-leave-it approach to its less-than-desirable 18-week paid parental leave plan will not deliver the support Australian families need, according to Green Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Senator Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson on the Status of Women, says the Greens have had legislation on the table since May last year to provide six months of paid parental leave, plus superannuation payments.

It remains the only piece of legislation on this issue before Parliament today.

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It's Time To Get Serious on Paid Parental Leave

THE Federal Government's 18-week paid parental scheme is not a serious enough response to the needs of families.

They know it, we know it, and the public certainly knows it.

What's not clear is whether the government is so wedded to a weak proposal that it is willing to see this vital reform go down just so it can have another election issue to fight on.

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Families Must Come Before Politics on Parental Leave

The Australian Greens have urged the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader to set aside election year politicking to help deliver proper paid parental leave, according to Green Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Senator Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson on the Status of Women, says it is vital that all sides of politics co-operate to ensure that there is a paid parental scheme in place before the next federal election.

"It is reassuring to see how far we have come in twelve months on paid parental leave,'' Senator Hanson-Young said.

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Greens Call for Early Senate Discussions on Parental Leave

The Australian Greens are calling on both major parties to move swiftly to lock in the best possible result for families on paid parental leave ahead of the next Federal election, according to Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

With the Opposition now proposing a 26-week parental scheme and the Government's plan not yet introduced, the Greens are writing to both Tony Abbott and the Prime Minister proposing tri-partisan talks ahead of this year's budget to ensure a scheme can be delivered by January 2011 at the latest.

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Equal Pay Day

That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) 1 September 2009 marked Equal Pay Day, almost 40 years after women formally achieved the right to equal pay, and
(ii) women have to work more than 2 months more to earn the same as men in an ordinary year;
(b) recognises that:
(i) women working full-time in Australia continue to earn, on average, approximately 17 per cent less than men, and
(ii) not only do women earn less than men on average, they can expect on average half the superannuation of men in retirement; and

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