News

More women is the key to cutting corruption, says MP

IN THIS heady age of grimy corruption revelations, thanks to the ICAC merry-go-round, it's good to know there's a simple answer to end corruption in politics.

That is, to get more women elected Australia-wide, according to Lennox Head-based NSW Upper House MP Catherine Cusack.

Ms Cusack has just been elected to chair the Commonwealth Women's Parliamentary Steering Committee, and her appointment comes during a crisis point for women.

The number of female MPs is dropping; nationally the number has fallen from 254 in 2010 to 239 in 2014.

The NSW Parliament is one of the worst performers, and has the lowest number of women in more than a decade.One of the more compelling cases Ms Cusack makes is - equity issues aside - women in politics equals less corruption.

The UN, and also Australia in its Pacific aid program, are pushing this proven fact in the developing world and encouraging more women into politics there.

"Obviously we're talking in general ... but there's an inverse relationship between the number of women in positions of power and the level of corruption," Ms Cusack said.

"If you want to improve the quality of political leadership, a very straightforward solution is to increase the number of women."

In Australia, Ms Cusack said things were better for women in the 1990s after more than a decade of calls for gender equality had seen women rise, but complacency had set in.

She said the public treatment of Julia Gillard sent a "poor message" to women considering politics, but things were already on a downward trajectory before that.

Even if the country's parliaments responded to the call, it would take a decade to see a turnaround. Her ultimate goal is to see equal representation.

"A former Liberal Party president, our first federal female president, Chris McDiven, said to me 'we'll achieve equality the day we have as many mediocre women we have as men'," she laughed.

Topics:  corruption, icac, politics, women




Child killer claims constant fear of violence in jail

Warren Ross boards a police car at the King Street Court in Sydney in May 2014.

Ross once boasted he could make the child scream just showing a belt

Parents' worst nightmare: Daughter, 6, could be deported

The family of six-year-old Lennox Head girl Sienna Tippett have applied for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to intervene so she doesn't get deported for having an undiagnosed mystery illness.

A Northern Rivers family has started the fight of their life.

Avocados drop to 79 cents each

Avocados advertised at Farmer Charlies in Lismore for 79 cents each

Holy guacamole! Avocados in Lismore are how much?

Latest deals and offers

Shannen Doherty shaves hair during cancer battle

Shannen Doherty has completely shaved off her hair

Brian McFadden makes daughters pay for own Christmas gifts

McFadden makes his daughters pay for half their presents

Lady Gaga is a godmother

Lady Gaga has become a godmother to her friends' daughter

Metal havoc this week at New Tattersalls Hotel

Only Machines Remain play Lismore on 6th August. Photo Contributed

Only Machines Remain to play Lismore this week

Will Turbo be taken off TV?

Memes about Turbo are flowing on Social media.

PEOPLE want Turbo taken off TV, but will Prospero Productions the ma

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started