In February this year, more than 90 members of the Liberal party met at the Town Hall in Launceston to discuss female representation both in Parliament and across the party more broadly.
Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman is spearheading an initiative to see women make up 50% of the party’s representation in state politics by 2022. The roundtable offered the first key step in achieving this goal. Speakers at the event included Federal Member for Boothby (SA), Nicolle Flint MP who in 2015 co-authored a Menzies report titled “Gender and Politics”. Ms Flint gave a constructive speech on the lack of women in Parliament at both state and federal levels and what the party can do to overcome these challenges.
Western Australian Senator Linda Reynolds and Federal Liberal Women’s Council President Ms Robyn Nolan also gave excellent speeches on the issue. All attendees had the opportunity to put forward their views on what they believe are the obstacles of running for Parliament and present solutions. The feedback was particularly informative and with the announcement of a Working Group to tackle the issue – headed by senior young Liberal Claire Chandler – the party is on its way to making the 2022 goal possible.