Former Deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop has come out swinging against her own party and others in Canberra, declaring she’s witnessed some “appalling behaviour” in Parliament and that the low representation of women is “unacceptable”.
In her first speech since resigning as Foreign Minister, Bishop told an Australian Women’s Weekly awards ceremony on Wednesday that she is committed to doing something about the low number of women in the Liberal party.
“I say to my party, it is not acceptable for us to have in 2018 less than 25 per cent of our parliamentarians as female,” she said, according to the ABC.
“It’s not acceptable for our party to contribute to the fall in Australia’s ratings from 15th in the world in terms of female parliamentary representation in 1999 to 50th today.
“There’s a lot to be done and I’m committed to helping do it.”
She also spoke about LNP MP Julia Banks, who last week announced she would not be contesting the next election, declaring that she will not tolerate “bullying and intimidation.”
“I’m still wondering what I’ll do when I grow up,” @JulieBishopMP speaking on recent parliamentary events at @aglenergy @WomensWeeklyMag Women of the Future Awards #womenofthefuture18 pic.twitter.com/Tc9mgRnLz3
— B&T (@bandt) September 5, 2018
Banks is a “feisty and amazing” woman, said Bishop. She should not have been met with ‘toughen up princess’ like comments when she chose to speak out. Instead, the response should have been “enough is enough”.
Bishop also spoke about the events leading up to Turnbull’s ousting as Liberal leader and Prime Minister last month, saying that the actions that occurred “would not be tolerated in any other workplace in Australia.”
She said that the kind of “appalling behaviour” she has witness in Parliament would simply not have been accepted 20 years ago when she was the managing partner of a law firm.
“When we politicians show such contempt for each other, aren’t the public justified in feeling contempt for all of us?” she said.
Bishop added that the events leading up to the leadership spill will be “dissected for years to come”, but that she’s “just sitting back wondering ‘gee what will I do what I grow up’.”