Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young today welcomed the Rudd Government's long overdue commitment to introduce paid maternity leave but rejected the delay until after the next election.
Senator Hanson-Young also called for an extension to 26 weeks and sought clarity on whether the scheme would apply to dads as well as mums.
"There can be absolutely no justification for delaying paid parental leave until beyond the next election," said Senator Hanson-Young.
"At a time when so many Mums and Dads are feeling the pinch, we need a government-funded paid parental leave scheme in place as soon as possible to give young parents the support they need.
"Paid parental leave keeps people connected to their jobs while giving them freedom and security at one of the most important and special times of their lives.
"The Greens' proposed 26-week paid parental leave scheme should be prioritised as an affordable way to stimulate the economy that's good for mums, dads, babies, and Australian workplaces too.
"A delayed, watered down scheme will just not cut it for families, workplaces or the economy.
"It is a credit to all those who have campaigned for so long that Australia will finally have a paid maternity leave scheme, but we still have a long way to go," Senator Hanson-Young said.