New NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay has unveiled a history-making shadow ministry with half of the frontbench positions filled by female MPs.
McKay has conducted a major reshuffle of the existing shadow ministry, with half the new frontbench members being new or promoted.
Having fifty percent women in frontbench positions is a first for any state government or opposition in NSW.
“These women are in my team on merit and that is important. But I am incredibly proud that we have achieved this. Equality matters,” McKay said.
It’s an historic first. pic.twitter.com/eXPXFOHz7v
— NSW Labor (@NSWLabor) July 3, 2019
For the first time in Labor’s history, women hold three out of the four main leadership positions.
Swansea MP Yasmin Catley from the Left faction is the McKay’s new deputy leader. She was endorsed uncontested for the role. Catley is a key ally of McKay and was her chief lieutenant during the campaign.
Adam Searle has retained his position of leader in the upper house house, while Penny Sharpe, one of the party’s most senior Left faction figures, has been given the deputy leader role.
— Tanya Plibersek (@tanya_plibersek) July 2, 2019
“This is the first time in the history of the Labor Party that we’ve had three women in our leadership team,” Ms McKay said on Tuesday.
“That is significant. However, they are here on merit, and I think that’s important for me to say.”
McKay’s new frontbench provides a stark contrast to Berejiklian’s NSW cabinet, where woman make up 21% of the front bench, holding 5 of 24 spots.
Former leader Michael Daley, who stepped down from the leadership following Labor’s election defeat in March, will stay on the backbench after declining a frontbench position offer from McKay.