23 June 2021


SUBJECT: Nationals war on childcare.

STEPHEN JONES, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning everyone. It's Day Two of the Morrison Joyce Government and already the calamity is well under way. You've seen the Barnaby boosters in their party room attempting to declare war on childcare. The National Party are clearly opposed to childcare. They hate childcare. They hate the people who use childcare. And they hate the people who work in childcare. As far as the National Party are concerned the role for women is to be barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. Certainly not in Parliament and certainly not in the workplace. They're trying to drag us back to the last century. It's time for Scott Morrison to stand up. If this is the sign of the future, then it's a pretty worrying sign indeed. We think that childcare is absolutely critical to women's participation in the workplace. They think that childcare is some sort of lark. Absolutely backwards attitude. Quite clear that the Government is so focused on itself. They're not focused on the problems of the country. They don't get women. They don't get women's needs. They don't get the role of the family, the problems that families are dealing with, and they certainly are hostile, particularly the National Party, are hostile to the role of women in the workplace. Time for Morrison to stand up. Time for the Prime Minister to stand up to these lunatics in the National Party who are trying to drag us back to the last century.

JOURNALIST: Do you think Barnaby Joyce, his leadership selection is sort of a sign of maybe the out of touch approach the Nationals are taking? And maybe it’s like groundhog day, starting again?

JONES: All of the lunatic crazy ideas that have been floated inside the National Party room, inside Barnaby Joyce's little group of disaffected people, have for the last three years been just that: the mad meanderings of a bunch of disaffected backbenchers. They've now got their way into the Cabinet room with Barnaby Joyce as their shop steward in chief. Today it's the war on childcare, tomorrow it'll be the war on ensuring that we have a modern energy system. This guy is trying to drag us backwards at the very time we should be focused on getting hotel quarantine fixed, at the very time that we should be getting vaccines fixed. We've got these lunatics running the country who can't agree with themselves, let alone focus on the problems. They are declaring war on childcare, they think the role for women is barefoot and in the kitchen. Not in the workplace. Not in Parliament. This is Neanderthal stuff, and not the stuff that Australian families want their government to be focused on.