Tanya Plibersek

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The Honourable
Tanya Plibersek
MP
Tanya Plibersek 2011 (cropped).jpg
Plibersek in June 2011
Deputy Leader of the Opposition
Incumbent
Assumed office
14 October 2013
Leader Bill Shorten
Preceded by Anthony Albanese
Deputy Leader of the Labor Party
Incumbent
Assumed office
14 October 2013
Leader Bill Shorten
Preceded by Anthony Albanese
Minister for Health
In office
14 December 2011 – 18 September 2013
Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Kevin Rudd
Preceded by Nicola Roxon
Succeeded by Peter Dutton
Minister for Human Services
In office
14 September 2010 – 14 December 2011
Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Preceded by Chris Bowen
Succeeded by Brendan O'Connor
Minister for Housing
In office
3 December 2007 – 14 September 2010
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Julia Gillard
Preceded by Brian Howe
Succeeded by Mark Arbib
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Sydney
Incumbent
Assumed office
3 October 1998
Preceded by Peter Baldwin
Personal details
Born (1969-12-02) 2 December 1969 (age 44)
Sydney, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Michael Coutts-Trotter
Children Anna, Joseph and Louis
Alma mater University of Technology, Sydney
Macquarie University
Occupation Politician
Website www.tanyaplibersek.com

Tanya Joan Plibersek (born 2 December 1969) is an Australian politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Sydney since 1998, and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Deputy Leader of the Labor Party since 2013. She previously served in both the Rudd and Gillard Governments as Minister for Health, Minister for Human Services and Minister for Housing.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Plibersek was born in Sydney, the daughter of migrants from Slovenia, and went on to become dux of Jannali Girls High School.[3] She was later educated at the University of Technology, Sydney, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and served as Women's Officer for a year. She then took a Masters in Public Policy and Politics at Macquarie University.[1] After graduating, she worked for the Domestic Violence Unit at the Office for the Status and Advancement of Women in New South Wales, and later in the office of Senator Bruce Childs.[4]

Career[edit]

Plibersek in 1994.

Plibersek was elected to the House of Representatives for Sydney in 1998 and re-elected five times.[5] She was elected to the Shadow Ministry after the 2004 election. She was Shadow Minister for Work, Family and Community, Shadow Minister for Youth and Early Childhood Education and Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on the Status of Women since October 2004. This portfolio was retitled Shadow Minister for Child Care, Youth and Women in June 2005. Following the Shadow Ministerial reshuffle in December 2006 (when Kevin Rudd assumed the leadership of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party) Plibersek was promoted to be Shadow Minister for Human Services, Housing, Youth and Women.

Plibersek writes a fortnightly column for The Sydney Morning Herald and has appeared regularly as a commentator on ABC TV talk show Q&A since 2008.

In the 2007 federal election, Plibersek was re-elected to the seat of Sydney with a 2.12% swing toward the Labor Party,[6] and was appointed Minister for Housing and Minister for the Status of Women in the First Rudd Ministry. In the 2010 federal election, Plibersek was re-elected to the seat of Sydney with a 2.25% swing against the Labor Party.[7] On 11 September 2010, Plibersek was appointed Minister for Human Services and Minister for Social Inclusion, that took effect from the conclusion of her maternity leave.

Following the retirement of Nicola Roxon, on 14 December 2011, Plibersek was appointed as Minister for Health in the Second Gillard Ministry and later promoted to Minister for Health and Medical Research in the Second Rudd Ministry, with effect from 1 July 2013.

Housing[edit]

As Minister for Housing, Plibersek launched the Social Housing Initiative, which provided for the construction of more than 19,300 new social housing units, with approximately 70,000 units receiving repairs and maintenance.[8] In December 2008, along with Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister at that time, Plibersek released the Government’s White Paper on Homelessness, The Road Home, which has a goal of halving homelessness by 2020.[9]

Political positions[edit]

Emily's List[edit]

Plibersek is a member of EMILY's List Australia, a political group that supports candidates, who in turn support Emily's List's views on equity, childcare, equal pay, diversity and reproductive freedom,[10] to be elected to political office.[11][12]

Abortion[edit]

As Minister for Health, Plibersek approved listing the abortion drug RU-486 on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Plibersek described the provision of the medicine as "a good thing in the situation where women are faced with one of the most difficult decisions that they will ever make".[13] Anti-abortion groups criticised the move, with one campaigner, Margaret Tighe, labelling it a "gross abuse of power."[14] Other commentators, including Clementine Ford, labelled the decision "progressive".[15][16]

Women[edit]

As Minister for the Status of Women in the Rudd Labor Government, Plibersek initiated policies such as convening the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children in May 2008, and releasing the National Council’s Plan for Australia to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children in March 2009.[17][18] Plibersek also addressed the 2009 United Nations International Women’s Day event, attended by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and announced Australia’s formal accession to the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).[19] Plibersek said that acceding to the Optional Protocol "will send a strong message that Australia is serious about promoting gender equality and that we are prepared to be judged by international human rights standards."[20]

Same-sex discrimination[edit]

Plibersek campaigned for the removal of discrimination against same-sex de facto couples in Federal legislation, raising the issue formally in Parliament on multiple occasions (including 1999),[21] 2006,[22] and 2008[23] over her parliamentary career. In her regular paid advertisement in the South Sydney Herald, in 2010 Pliberek wrote that 'The passing of these reforms to federal legislation was one of the proudest moments of my time in the Australian Parliament'[24] and has marched in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in 2008.[25] The Labor Party was criticised by some LGBT groups[26][27] over the party's bipartisan policy against the legalisation of same-sex marriage. Plibersek's own views aside, in 2007 she told The Sydney Morning Herald[28]

Labor does not support changing the Marriage Act to allow same-sex marriage.

On 25 July 2004, Plibersek was loudly heckled at an anti-homophobia rally due to the issue.[27]

At the Australian Labor Party national conference in 2011, the delegates voted to include same-sex marriage as official party policy, although MPs are allowed a conscience vote.[29]

Plibersek plans to introduce in 2014 a private members bill for same-sex marriage.[30]

War in Iraq[edit]

Plibersek opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[31] It was reported that when US President, George W. Bush, visited the Australian Parliament in 2003, ‘Sydney Labor MP Tanya Plibersek walked around the chamber as President Bush shook hands with MPs to give Bush's national security adviser Condoleezza Rice a book of speeches by Labor MPs opposing Australia invading Iraq without UN approval.’[32] She also stated in Parliament, "I do not support an attack on Iraq. I particularly do not support a pre-emptive first strike. Nor do I support any action that is initiated by the US alone rather than being sanctioned by the United Nations."[31]

Israel[edit]

On Tuesday, 17 September 2002 in the House of Representatives, Plibersek said "...I can think of a rogue state which consistently ignores UN resolutions, whose ruler is a war criminal responsible for the massacres of civilians in refugee camps outside its borders. The US supports and funds this country. This year it gave it a blank cheque to continue its repression of its enemies. It uses US military hardware to bulldoze homes and kill civilians. It is called Israel, and the war criminal is Ariel Sharon. Needless to say, the US does not mention the UN resolutions that Israel has ignored for 30 years; it just continues sending the money..." [33]

Personal life[edit]

Plibersek lives in Sydney with her husband, Michael Coutts-Trotter who is a senior public servant and the current Director-General of the New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services,[34] and their children Anna, Joseph and Louis.[35]

Maternity during minority government[edit]

Following the 2010 federal election where Labor retained government with the support of the Australian Greens and independents, parliamentary numbers were finely balanced. Plibersek was granted a pair by the Coalition so that her absence from the House of Representatives while on maternity leave did not affect the result of votes.[36] She gave birth to a son on 1 October 2010.[37][38]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Tanya Plibersek". Unleashed. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 10 March 2008. Retrieved 13 June 2008. 
  2. ^ "Visoki cilji iz dežele "tam spodaj"" [High ambitions from the country "down there"] (in Slovene). Nedeljski dnevnik. 12 November 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  3. ^ Malone, Paul (26 May 2013). "Old school ties dominate Coalition". canberratimes.com.au. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "About Tanya". Tanya Plibersek. 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "House of Representatives: The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Member for Sydney (NSW)". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 10 August 2010. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Summary of Sydney". Federal Election 2007. Australian Electoral Commission. 19 December 2007. Retrieved 19 December 2007. 
  7. ^ "Summary of Sydney". Federal Election 2010. Australian Electoral Commission. 15 September 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "Social Housing Initiative". Social Housing. Commonwealth of Australia – Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. Retrieved 10 October 2010. 
  9. ^ "The Road Home - The Australian Government White Paper on Homelessness". Housing and Homelessness. Commonwealth of Australia Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. 21 December 2008. Retrieved 10 August 2010. [dead link]
  10. ^ "What We Believe In - EMILY's List". Emilyslist.org.au. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  11. ^ Tanya Plibersek - EMILY's List
  12. ^ What We Believe In - EMILY's List
  13. ^ "Abortion pill RU486 and three cancer drugs added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Abc.net.au. 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  14. ^ "Controversy as abortion drug RU486 added to PBS". Australiantimes.co.uk. 2013-07-01. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  15. ^ Oakes, Sarah (2 July 2013). "10 reasons the RU486 listing is so important". dailylife.com.au. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  16. ^ Ford, Clementine (4 September 2013). "Do you have sex? Do you not want to be pregnant?". dailylife.com.au. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  17. ^ "Time for Action: The National Council’s Plan for Australia to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, 2009–2021" (PDF). National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children. Commonwealth of Australia – Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. March 2009. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  18. ^ Plibersek, Tanya (29 April 2009). "Launch of the National Council to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children's Time for Action Report" (PDF). National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children. Commonwealth of Australia Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  19. ^ "Minister address United Nations on gender equality" (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. 5 March 2009. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  20. ^ "Australia Comes In From The Cold On Women's Rights" (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia Attorney-General. 24 November 2008. Retrieved 10 August 2010. [dead link]
  21. ^ Plibersek, Tanya MP (8 June 1999). "Same Sex Relationships – Adjournment Speech". Australian House of Representatives: Hansard. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  22. ^ Plibersek, Tanya MP (22 May 2006). "Superannuation: Same-Sex Couples – Grievence Debate". Australian House of Representatives: Hansard. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  23. ^ Plibersek, Tanya MP (25 September 2008). "Commonwealth Law Reform: Same-Sex Couples – Constituency Statement". Australian House of Representatives: Hansard. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  24. ^ Plibersek, Tanya MP (March 2010). "Member for Sydney – Column". South Sydney Herald (South Sydney Uniting Church). p. 4. Retrieved 15 October 2010. [dead link]
  25. ^ Socialjusticeinearlychildhood.org
  26. ^ "Labor's Same-Sex Registration Policy Entrenches Discrimination". Australian Marriage Equality (National lobby group). 27 April 2007. Retrieved 5 August 2007. [dead link]
  27. ^ a b "Rally protests same-sex marriage ban". Green Left Weekly. 4 August 2004. Retrieved 5 August 2007. 
  28. ^ Plibersek, Tanya (21 March 2007). "The discrimination that makes a lie of equality". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 August 2007. 
  29. ^ ALP platform changes to support gay marriage
  30. ^ Tanya Plibersek looks for Coalition MP to co-sponsor same-sex marriage bill: SMH 25 February 2014
  31. ^ a b Plibersek, Tanya (17 September 2002). "Ministerial Statements – Foreign Affairs". Australian House of Representatives: Hansard. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 5 August 2007. 
  32. ^ Kingston, Margot (23 October 2003). "Charge of the Lightfoot brigade doesn't stop Green protest". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 August 2007. 
  33. ^ Hansard Tuesday, 17 September 2002,Page 6455 <http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/genpdf/chamber/hansardr/2002-09-17/0075/hansard_frag.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf>
  34. ^ Welch, Dylan; Patty, Anna (11 April 2007). "Give me a chance: schools' chief". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 6. Retrieved 11 April 2007. 
  35. ^ Nader, Carol (13 August 2010). "Labor faces rising Green tide". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  36. ^ "73-72: government loses first vote in house". The Age (Australia). AAP. 29 September 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  37. ^ Squires, Rosie (9 October 2010). "Nation's Parliament 'controlled' by a baby". Sunday Mail. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  38. ^ Scott, Aimee (12 October 2010). "Sydney MP Tanya Plibersek gives birth to baby Louis". Central Sydney. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Peter Baldwin
Member of Parliament
for Sydney

1998–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Brian Howe
Minister for Housing
2007–2010
Succeeded by
Mark Arbib
Preceded by
Chris Bowen
Minister for Human Services
2010–2011
Succeeded by
Brendan O'Connor
Preceded by
Nicola Roxon
Minister for Health
2011–2013
Succeeded by
Peter Dutton
Preceded by
Anthony Albanese
Deputy Leader of the Opposition
2013–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Anthony Albanese
Deputy Leader of the Labor Party
2013–present
Incumbent