That’s how many women NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has appointed to his Cabinet overnight, with the other 19 positions divvied up amongst the blokes.
And believe it or not, this is actually an improvement from former Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s Cabinet make-up, with just six women holding positions previously.
And to make matters worse, some are even touting Perrottet’s menial efforts as a “win for women”. The Australian’s headline this morning, ‘Perrottet promotes women to cabinet‘, paints the picture of a new gender-balanced order for the NSW Liberal Party, when the exact opposite prevails.
“Four of our new ministers are women, and their presence around the cabinet table will make our government better,” Perrottet announced proudly.
“Each one of them has worked tirelessly to earn their position, I know they will continue to deliver for the people of NSW in their new roles.”
Three new Liberal women have been promoted to cabinet with Upper House MP Natasha Maclaren-Jones becoming the Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, Miranda MP Eleni Petinos taking charge as the Minister for Small Business and Fair Trading and Goulburn MP Wendy Tuckerman becoming the Local Government Minister.
While Nationals MP Melinda Pavey was dumped from Cabinet and replaced by Steph Cooke, the member for Cootamundra, who will take on the role of Minister for Emergency Services.
Pavey released a statement saying that she was “disappointed” by the demotion but respected the decision made.
She also noted, fairly, that she was “longest serving National Party MP in Australia”.
No doubt women of NSW, and across Australia share Pavey’s disappointment. Especially after Perrottet’s lamentation earlier this month about the Federal Liberal Party’s “slow” approach to the issue of equal gender representation — a declaration that pricked hopeful ears.
“Our party, the Liberal Party, let’s be frank … hasn’t done a great job in terms of pre-selections and encouraging women to enter politics,” he told the National Press Club, adding that “the more diverse our parliaments are, the more diverse our cabinet is, the better the decision-making outcomes will be.”
“Unfortunately, sometimes it takes some bad situations to eventuate for the public, and for politicians particularly, to take notice and step up to the plate,” he said.
But rather than “step up to the plate” himself, Perrottet’s efforts to increase the number of women in his highest ranks is pathetic. If it wasn’t so depressing, I’d be laughing.
With his firm stance that quotas won’t change the status quo, it’s Perrottet’s patent opinion that the fault lies with women for not being selected.
“It’s not that women aren’t getting preselected in the main, it’s that they’re not putting their hands up to run,” he suggests.
Yep, that must be it. It couldn’t be the fact that cookie-cutter blokes with the same backward ideologies, keep holding them back from a level playing field.