Australia politics live: wage gap revealed on International Women’s Day, RBA governor to give more clues on rates | Australian politics


Key events

Closing the Gap shortfalls

Productivity Commission data shows a number of key Closing the Gap targets are not on track and some are going backwards, Australian Associated Press reports.

Closing the Gap is a strategy that aims to achieve equality for Indigenous people by improving health, social, education and economic outcomes.

Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney said:

I know many people are frustrated by the lack of progress.

There are 19 socioeconomic targets in the national agreement on Closing the Gap.

The Productivity Commission has released data on nine of those targets, which shows:

Two are on target: employment of Indigenous adults and land rights

Seven are not on target, including babies with a healthy birth weight, finishing year 12, appropriate housing and reducing suicide rates.


It is particularly disappointing to see the target for healthy birth weights for babies has gone from being on track to not on track.

University milestone

Anthony Albanese is due to arrive in India today. As part of his trip he’ll join senior Indian ministers to announce that Australia’s Deakin University will be the first foreign tertiary education in the world to establish a campus in India.

Last year India announced new regulations allowing foreign universities to set up there. Names including Yale and Oxford were aired. But Australian universities (Wollongong is also working towards approval) are in the vanguard.

But closer to home universities are under pressure, as a Guardian Australia investigation reveals concerns about quality and value for money in courses that they outsource to external companies:

Campaign to introduce menstrual and menopausal leave

Also in our IWD coverage, preliminary findings from a survey of Australia’s biggest unions reveal that a majority of women suffer period pain so great it affects their performance.

But three in four feel they can’t talk to their manager about it.

The unions are joining in a national campaign to introduce menstrual and menopausal leave. Read our story here:

Victorian MP wears her online harassment to work

Georgie Purcell joined the Victorian parliament at November’s election as an Animal Justice party MP.

When she walked out of the building after her inaugural speech, she opened her phone to find insults aimed at her gender.

On International Women’s Day, she writes for Guardian Australia about the online threats and harassment she experiences too many times to count.

And she’s donning a dress to work – Parliament House – adorned with just some of the hateful tweets, emails and comments she’s received.

Read her story here:


Good morning and welcome to our daily politics blog. I’m Martin Farrer and, before Amy Remeikis gets fired up for the day, here are some of the main news lines from overnight.

We have a package of stories to kick off International Women’s Day, with our lead being a study showing that Australian women earn $1m less on average over their lifetimes than men and retire with $136,000 less in superannuation. According to research by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, women earning the median wage would accumulate about $393,676 in super, $151,000 below the level defined as a “comfortable retirement”.

Lidia Thorpe has denied in an exclusive interview with Guardian Australia that she ever dated the former Rebels bikie boss Dean Martin and instead alleged she was told by lawyers for the Greens to claim the pair had a relationship. Coming as she was cleared of wrongdoing for “possible obstruction” of the law enforcement committee – of which Thorpe was once a member – she said:

I got ridiculed for something that I didn’t do. I was advised by lawyers to say that I was dating that person.

RBA governor Philip Lowe may give more clues about any future increases in the cash rate when he addresses a business summit in Sydney today as a number of different scenarios emerge for the Australian economy. Lowe has been criticised all across the political spectrum for hiking rates 10 times in a row and heaping pressure on household budgets in the process.

With all that, let’s get going …

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