Transcripts → 2024


TV Interview - Today Show

Minister for Finance
Minister for Women
Minister for the Public Service
Senator for the ACT


Date: Wednesday, 24 April 2024

Domestic violence; Inflation figures.

SARAH ABO, HOST: We’re only four months into the year and already 25 Australian women have allegedly been killed by a partner or former partner. These are some of their faces. The latest victim, 28 year old Molly Ticehurst, who was found dead at her home in the New South Wales Central West on Monday morning. She was a mother, a daughter, a child care worker, a friend and beloved member of her community. Molly did everything right. She saw the red flags and reported them to police. It should’ve been enough but it wasn’t. The person accused of her murder, her ex-partner, was allegedly out on bail for a string of violent offences including sexual assault. How could this have happened to yet another woman in Australia, in a country where we’re supposed to feel safe? We’re joined now by the Minister for Women and Finance, Katy Gallagher, in Canberra. Minister, I know you must be reeling as well. The system has let down another woman.

SENATOR THE HON KATY GALLAGHER, MINISTER FOR WOMEN: Yeah, thanks for having me on, Sarah, and I think your introduction sums it up, really. I think for women across this country, the reality is we don’t feel safe. And I think the events, particularly, of the last month, but really when you look at the statistics this is an issue women live with every day in this country, just how unsafe they feel. And it’s a very vulnerable time and I think we all need to look after each other and I think we really need to have a hard conversation about how we, as a country, work together to keep women and girls safe.

ABO: Katy, where do you see the problem? I mean, the court system, decisions now under fire – this is why women live in fear. Even when they report violence, they can’t have faith in the court system to keep them safe. I mean I get that it’s a state issue, but there needs to be a greater push for change. I mean, how do you see this? Where do you think the problem lies in this country?

GALLAGHER: Well, I think we’ve got to bring men into the conversation a lot more, and not in a demonising way. We’ve got to have an honest discussion about how women feel and what men can do to help. Certainly, a lot of the effort goes into dealing with the consequences of violence. So as you say, the court system, the health system, the social support system. That’s all kind of focused on the impact of violence and when violence has occurred. And so we have to keep doing that, but the other side is how do we create, I guess, a community where disrespect towards women and how women are treated isn’t the norm? The way they’re treated at the moment. And that means intervening very early. That means at school, really, which is where some of the attitudes towards women get cemented quite young. And you know, and then that of course as kids get older, that translates into the sort of end we’re seeing with the violence against women. And so, not one government, not one policy, not one idea that will deal with this. It’s a much bigger and much more serious conversation, I think.

ABO: Yeah I mean, I completely agree with everything you’ve said and I think we both want to see change here. The issue is, we’re not seeing that change and when you look at it on paper, it seems to come down to bail. I mean, how are these offenders allowed to be on bail to then commit these atrocities to women?

GALLAGHER: Yeah so look, I’ve been hearing and certainly the media reports there that the Premier of New South Wales might have more to say about that. And absolutely support looking at whatever we can do to ensure women are safe, particularly, as you say, when women do everything right. They’ve made the hard decision, they leave the violent relationship, they seek protection, they seek court orders and still we end up with – in some cases – where they lose their lives. And it’s not acceptable. So we have to do everything we can, but I think I’ve been watching – as a woman, we’ve grown up in a world or a community in Australia where the reality is, if you want to go for a run, if you want to go and do something by yourself at night, if you park your car too far away from where you’re going, you don’t feel safe. And that’s a bigger problem that we have to solve and make sure that our daughters aren’t growing up in the world that we grew up in.

ABO: Yeah, I mean there just seems to be too little leniency – too much leniency and too little accountability and something needs to be changed because we keep having these conversations. Alright, let’s just quickly move on if we can, Katy. Australia’s quarterly inflation figures will be released later this morning, can we hold out hope that homeowners will see a rate cut before 2025?

GALLAGHER: Well, obviously the rate cut decision’s for the Reserve Bank, but we are seeing inflation moderate in welcome ways. I mean, obviously we’ll get that data today. It’s factoring into our thinking in putting the Budget together as we deal with some of these challenges, the global challenges that exist. Some of the results of slowing growth, that’s all factoring into the decisions we’re taking and I guess our focus is not making the inflation problem harder, but making sure we’re making the investments we need to grow the economy as well. So, we’ll see what that data says at 11.30, but we’re certainly making welcome progress from where it was when we came to government.

ABO: Alright Minister Katy Gallagher, thanks so much for joining us this morning.