Sydney, New South Wales
The Hon. Sandra Nori, MP, Minister for Women of New South Wales hosted the Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Conference on the Status of Women (MINCO) in Sydney on Friday 16 September 2005.
Ministers welcomed Mrs Isabelle Donald MP, Minister responsible for Women’s Affairs, Vanuatu. Minister Donald gave a presentation that highlighted the achievements of the Vanuatu government offices in respect of women’s issues.
Older women’s participation in the workforce and women’s financial literacy and continue to be key issues for the Council. Ministers were keen to progress a cooperative Australian and New Zealand government approach to ensure improvements are made on a national scale. Ministers agreed to take action within their own jurisdictions to seek implementation of the key strategies for maintaining and improving older women’s social and economic participation.
The Australian Government Minister welcomed all State and Territory Ministers’ commitment to progressing a number of options to improve women’s financial literacy, including adapting and promoting an existing information product from Victoria to provide information about superannuation that is targeted at women. Further options agreed to by Ministers included developing material on the importance of and how women can maximise their superannuation during periods out of the workforce, or when they are in low earning or part-time employment. Ministers also agreed to work with the Financial Literacy Foundation through the Australian Government Office for Women to ensure women’s financial literacy needs are addressed within the framework of the national strategy.
Ministers noted that work and family balance issues continued to be a major concern for Australians. State and Territory Ministers agreed to approach their Premiers and Chief Ministers to put work and family on the COAG agenda.
Ministers discussed the paper from WA and NSW on Pay Equity and Industrial Relations reform and noted that there would not be agreement between the Australian Government and the State and Territory Ministers on this issue.
A review of the National Women’s Safety Taskforce was tabled. Ministers agreed to the continuation of the National Women’s Safety Taskforce for a further 4 years, which will enable the Taskforce to progress further identified issues affecting women’s safety. Ministers agreed to direct the National Safety Taskforce to develop a national strategic plan with key goals and to improve processes to better influence other portfolios of significance, including Justice, Police and Community Services.
Ministers agreed that the sharing of information and a consistent national approach will go some way to increasing the participation of women on private or public sector boards. Ministers agreed to adopt a proposed National Strategy to increase the Participation of Women on Boards, and also welcomed the Australian Government Office for Women’s proposal to take the lead in co-ordinating an implementation agenda for the National Strategy.
Ministers valued the opportunity to meet with delegates of the fourth National Indigenous Women’s Gathering. The Gathering focused on Women and Safety, one of the key themes contained in the Indigenous Women’s Action Plan. The Indigenous women engaged with Ministers on key topic areas including safe, strong families, safe and strong communities, leadership in family violence and local solutions to Indigenous family violence. Ministers noted the importance of the Indigenous woman’s voice on issues of significance to women.
The meeting was attended by: the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues, Senator the Hon Kay Patterson; Queensland Minister for Women, the Hon Desley Boyle MP; the South Australian Minister for the Status of Women, the Hon Stephanie Key, MP; the Victorian Minister for Women’s Affairs, the Hon Mary Delahunty; the Western Australian Minister for Women’s Interests, the Hon Sheila McHale, MLA; the Tasmanian Minister for Women, the Hon Paula Wriedt MHA. Ms Sue Hall represented the Australian Capital Territory Minister for Women, Ms Katy Gallagher MLA; Ms Kim Johnstone represented the Hon Clare Martin MLA and the Hon Marion Scrymgour from the Northern Territory; and Ms Shenagh Gleisner represented the Hon Ruth Dyson, Minister for Women’s Affairs, New Zealand.
16 September 2005