Prime Minister Julia Gillard has appeared at the Woodford Folk Festival with her Labor predecessor Bob Hawke.
Gillard told the gathering that the “big decisions” made by her government “would have been effectively the same” even if the government had not operated in a minority.
She said that she wanted to launch the National Disability Insurance Scheme on July 1st and deliver “further education reforms” before “we get around to winning that election”.
- Listen to Gillard and Hawke at Woodford (42m)
Gillard said she was an “incredible optimist” and cited her own life story as one that “instills a sense of optimism in me”. She said that “it says something wonderful about this place” that she could come to Australia aged 4 and become the first female prime minister. “Why wouldn’t you be optimistic about the future?”
Bob Hawke said that no predecessor or successor of his “has had as much difficulty with the processes of politics” as Gillard has. Despite not controlling the numbers, “the legislative record of this government is quite remarkable,” he said.
Hawke said that Gillard had been subject “to some unfair criticism because she’s a woman”.
There were cheers from the crowd when Gillard referred to her misogyny speech. She said one upside to her experience was talking to girls about going into politics. She told the story of a woman who told her young son that he could become PM, only to be told by the boy: “No, mum, you need to be a girl to do that.” [Read more...]