Minister’s gender quota plan labelled a ‘brain fart’

Energy Minister Matt Kean's proposal for gender quotas to get more Liberal women in parliament has been labelled an "arrogant" and "self-serving" move that will only entrench the moderate faction's control in the party.

Veteran Liberal MLC Catherine Cusack has slammed Mr Kean for his proposal, accusing him of asserting that there are "no capable women in parliament".

Ms Cusack accused her Liberal colleague of proposing a system where powerbrokers can "hand pick" women who would then be "beholden" to factional leaders.

"We need to be very careful of a young Matt Kean riding in on a white horse like a knight in shining armour claiming he wants to support women. There will be a lot of cynicism in the Liberal party about those claims," Ms Cusack said.

 

Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean during a Budget Estimates 2019-2020 hearing. Picture: Richard Dobson
Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean during a Budget Estimates 2019-2020 hearing. Picture: Richard Dobson

 

Mr Kean's idea was labelled by another senior party source as a "brain fart" which "completely blindsided" Liberals on state executive.

The proposal was outlined in an opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday.

Mr Kean is set to take the matter to the party's state executive. He said the party needs to take more steps to get women into parliament, saying the current approach hasn't worked.

Liberal sources have said there is little chance the state executive will vote for gender quotas.

Ms Cusack also claimed Mr Kean supported his male staffer in a 2017 upper house preselection over two capable women

"He stymied a strong push by locals in his own faction to support a woman for that position by parachuting his own staffer in," she told the Telegraph.

Mr Kean rejected that assertion and said the debate about a gender quota needs to consider seats "holistically" rather than specific electorate contests.

Originally published as Minster's gender quota plan labelled a 'brain fart'

 


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