Labor leader Bill Shorten is facing internal pressure to follow through on a promise to consider quotas for gay and indigenous MPs.
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Labor Left MPs have told The Australian they are angry the Opposition Leader has done nothing to follow through with his proposal in 2013 to consider quotas for gay MPs, which was viewed as an attempt by him to secure crucial votes to beat Anthony Albanese for the party leadership.
In a manifesto of his policies sent to Labor members during the 2013 leadership showdown with Mr Albanese, Mr Shorten wrote that more needed to be done to increase the diversity of Labor’s political candidates.
“We should consider quotas for sections of our community that are under-represented in our parliaments, including indigenous Australians and the LGBTI community,” the manifesto said.
In 2016, Mr Shorten’s office refused to endorse or criticise a motion being pushed at Labor’s Queensland conference for affirmative-action policies for gay and transgender candidates.
Labor has prioritised female affirmative-action policies in recent weeks in an effort to wedge the government, which has struggled to respond to allegations that some female MPs were bullied during the recent leadership spill.
Women’s Minister Kelly O’Dwyer yesterday said the government would consider adopting Labor’s plan to force large companies to release data on how much their male and female employees earned.
Labor’s plan would affect companies with more than 1000 staff — which is 700 businesses — and would allow employees to tell each other how much they were paid.
The Australian reports many business leaders oppose the policy.
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