Opposition refuses pair for mother of sick child

Federal Labor ministers have rounded on the opposition after it rejected a government MP’s request to leave parliament to be with her sick toddler.

Member for Greenway Michelle Rowland on Wednesday applied for permission to return to Sydney to be with her baby daughter Octavia, who is believed to be suffering from the flu and a severe fever.

However, her bid to miss Thursday’s sitting was refused across the floor.

Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury said Opposition Leader Tony Abbott wanted people to believe he was committed to policies that supported women.

“Then we see a case like this involving Michelle Rowland,” he told Sky News on Thursday.

“There’s not even going to be a vote and they are denying her the opportunity to return home to be with her sick child.”

It was time “some of the adults in the room” stepped forward and sorted it out.

Ms Rowland’s absence on Thursday means she would miss Opposition Leader Mr Abbott’s budget-reply speech, due to be delivered at 7.30pm.

“It’s disappointing that the so-called party of family values wouldn’t grant this very reasonable request for a mother to be with her baby,” Ms Rowland told News Ltd.

The matter follows a skirmish on Wednesday where the coalition sought agreement from the government for a cross bencher to pair with Liberal MP Alex Somlyay, who was reported to have gone home sick earlier in the day.

However, Independent MP Rob Oakeshott later told parliament the opposition had been misleading, and that Mr Somlyay was capable of being in parliament.

“I have seen him in the corridor tonight,” Mr Oakeshott said.

Mr Bradbury said Wednesday’s incident was not relevant to Ms Rowland’s request.

“I don’t know what the back story to it is but this is ridiculous,” he said.

Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said Ms Rowland was expected to stay away from her sick child and sit in the chamber to hear a speech even the opposition admitted would contain nothing new.

“This is the best example ever that they don’t care about modern families. She should be home with her child,” she told ABC radio.

Manager of opposition business Christopher Pyne says Ms Rowland will be granted a pair and that could have happened on Monday morning if the coalition had been given more information.

“How desperate will Labor become to be now using a sick child as a political pawn to try and attack Tony Abbott,” he told reporters in Canberra.

Mr Pyne said coalition MPs members also were parents, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters.

“If somebody has a sick child, if somebody needs to visit their wife who has been in hospital for 14 days, of course they will be granted a pair.”

Mr Pyne said the coalition had granted Labor minister Mike Kelly a pair on Wednesday to visit his sick wife, but then the MP fronted up for a crucial vote in parliament.

Labor backbencher Nick Champion told Sky News: “What we have here is a pretty horrible little act of misogyny.”

“And it’s a horrible little act of obstruction by a whip.”

He said the Liberal Party should admit its mistake and say “it’s over and we’ll give a pair”.

Liberal MP Kellie O’Dwyer says Ms Rowland could have had a pair any time she wanted.

“She should go home today … she shouldn’t go home at five o’clock (as requested). She should go home right now.”

Source Article from http://sbs.feedsportal.com/c/34692/f/637524/s/2bf96843/l/0L0Ssbs0N0Bau0Cnews0Carticle0C17670A280COpposition0Erefuses0Epair0Efor0Emother0Eof0Esick0Echild/story01.htm

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: Premium WordPress Themes | Thanks to Themes Gallery, Bromoney and Wordpress Themes