More work to close ‘dream gap’ for girls

OpinionDuring this years International Day of the Girl, Plan International Australia released a report called The Dream Gap which was about how Australian girls view their place in the world.

What was astounding was, despite the relative youth of some of the respondents, they had a very cleared eyed view of the issues of equality and opportunity.

The report, based on a survey of young women conducted by Essential Research, shows 98 per cent of Australian girls say they do not receive equal treatment to boys.

Sadly while many girls aspire to succeed in their careers and personal lives and to be leaders in the world, those lofty ambitions fade as they become adults in the face of roadblocks, discouragement and discrimination.

It is such a waste of wonderful talent that our nation needs.

The report demonstrates how much further we have to go before true equality is achieved.  We may believe it’s a moral absolute, a value we all agree upon but clearly the reality paints a far less glossy picture. As the report states:

“Globally the situation is dire: girls and young women are forced out of equal opportunities before their adult lives have even begun, with females making up 70 per cent of out-of-school youth and 82 million girls each year in developing countries married before their 18th birthday. Until girls are valued the same as boys the dream gap will remain for girls no matter where they’re born.”

Claire Moore is a Labor Senator for Queensland and Shadow Minister for International Claire_MooreDevelopment and The Pacific.

This post is an edited text from Claire’s weekly newsletter dated 13 October 2017. For more information about Claire and her work, visit



Turnbull’s energy policy a blow to certainty

A quick wordDennis Atkins’ reference to “meandering” on national energy policy in a recent Courier Mail article is an acute understatement. Irony abounds as the Turnbull Government tries every conceivable manoeuvre to side-step the key Finkel recommendation of a Clean Energy Target (CET).

It turns out that renewable prices are falling much faster than expected.

This is an inconvenient truth so with typical sleight-of-hand Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg now argues there is no need to subsidise renewables after all, saying, in effect, there’s no need for a CET.

This contradicts the chief scientist Alan Finkel saying it’s the most cost-effective way forward to transition to a lower emissions energy target. Virtually every industry leader engaged in the recent National Energy Summit debate sees the government’s backdown as another blow to policy certainty. Turnbull’s latest catch-phrase is that his government’s policy is not ideological, but in their frantic pursuit for policy differentiation with Labor that’s exactly what it is.

When Labor governments have set more progressive targets for increasing levels of renewables they have been berated for the impact this will have on electricity prices. Now Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg, is acknowledging a “brave new world” in which renewable prices are falling faster than expected.

Frank Carroll