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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.

"The Greens' position has always been that the first six months of a baby's life is an incredibly important time for the child and their parents and 6 months should be the minimum period for paid parental leave.

"The Coalition has at last come to the same conclusion, while the Government has announced a proposal for 18 weeks, but both the major parties are yet to table legislation to deal with this issue.

"I'm not interested in playing politics on this issue. The Greens are committed to working to deliver the outcome that families desperately need - six months of financial support to allow them to spend critical time with their newborns without the pressures of work.''

The Greens' legislation which was introduced to Parliament last year also includes provision for superannuation payments as part of the paid scheme.

"Superannuation must be included in any scheme, without superannuation women will continue to lose out simply because of their caring responsibilities,'' Senator Hanson-Young said.

"I have written to the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader calling for urgent talks to get this process moving.

"We are only at the beginning of the discussion, but we can't afford to waste any more time.

"The Greens will move amendments to the Government's paid parental leave legislation in the Senate to include provisions for six months of leave and superannuation payments.



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