Australia

Australia’s next parliament has been declared. There’s only one politician with a visible disability

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has officially declared Australia’s 47th parliament, and has considered it one of the most diverse in the country’s history.

With 151 members in the House of Representatives and 40 seats standing for election in the Senate now confirmed, there has been an increase in women in the House of Representatives, the number of Asian-Australian politicians doubling and indigenous representation. now reflects the national population.

But of all 227 lawmakers, only one has a visible disability: WA Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John.
According to 2020 data from the Australian Institute of Health and Wellness, almost one in three Australians live with a disability. About 40 per cent of Australians live with either a disability or a chronic health condition.
Senator Steele-John told SBS News that while the diversity of Australia’s new parliament is “absolutely something to celebrate”, it remains a critical issue that it “remains only visually impaired people visible in parliament”.

“This betrays a really serious issue. It shows that we have a lot more work to do to ensure that our social and political structure includes people from a range of backgrounds,” he said.

Jordon raised his fist and sat in his wheelchair while Adam Bandt clapped his hands.

WA Senator Jordon Steele-John is the Greens ’spokesperson for disability rights and services. Source: AAP / Luke Coch

Senator Steele-John – who was elected to the Senate in 2017 – said the current makeup of the Australian parliament sent a message to people from marginalized communities that “parliament is not a place for them”.

“People with disabilities are locked into decision-making spaces, which makes those spaces less accessible, which is more used to lock people with disabilities outside – it’s a vicious cycle,” he said.

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“Being visible as a person with a disability – whether or not your disability is visible – makes it safer for others to be visible.
“It helps make habilitation less socially acceptable, it makes disability an identity to be proud of, and it challenges people’s flawed expectations of people with disabilities.”
It emphasizes the need for more people with disabilities at the basic level to be able to hear well. Then affirmative action must be taken as a “critical” measure to improve representation, he said.
People with disabilities President of Australia Samantha Connor said the level of representation of people with disabilities was “amazing”.
He added: “Our parliament should be a true‘ people’s parliament ’and reflect the community – there should be Aboriginal people, people of color, people with disabilities, older Australians and younger people, as well as people from low socioeconomic backgrounds. “

Per Capita think tank executive director Emma Dawson agreed that while the 47th parliamentary result was “much improved”, there was “still work to be done”.

Rank the women up

Twenty other women were elected to the House of Representatives this election, now making up 38.4 percent of members in the lower house.

It is a considerable increase from the last parliament of 31.9 percent, as of December 2020, according to parliamentary library figures, making this parliament the sexiest in history.

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Of the 20 newly elected women, 10 are Labor MPs, two are Liberal MPs, one is a Greens MP and seven are independents. They joined 38 existing women who held their seats.
The new parliament now has 43 women in the Senate, making up 56.5 percent in the upper house. This comes from 52.5 percent in the previous parliament.

“Women are not the minority. We are half the population – a little over half the population – and having equal representation is absolutely fundamental,” Ms Dawson said.

Indigenous representation rises

For the first time in Australian history, there are 10 Aboriginal politicians and Torres Strait Islander in parliament.

That’s a 67 percent increase compared to the last parliament, where only six members of parliament were indigenous.

It also marks the first time the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in parliament is proportional to their population, where they represent 3 percent.
Notably, Wiradjuri woman, to be sworn in in parliament, taking on the role of Minister for Indigenous Australians.
He took on the role of Noongar, Yamatji and Wongi man, Liberal MP Ken Wyatt, who lost his seat in Perth in Hasluck to worker Tania Lawrence.
Other additions include Marion Scrymgour and Gordon Reid in the lower house, as well as Jacinta Price and Jana Stewart in the Senate.

It also means for the first time two Indigenous women will lead the NT Senate seats, with Senator Price joining Malarndirri McCarthy in Labor.

Asian-Australian representation more than doubled

Only three Australians of Asian descent were in the House of Representatives before the 2022 federal election. These figures have more than doubled in what has been described as a “major improvement” by Ms Dawson.

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Among the newest figures is Labor who speaks nine languages ​​other than English. His surprise victory came in what was once a liberal safe seat in the WA Tangney constituency.
Others include Dai Le of Fowler Sydney, Michelle Ananda-Rajah of Higgins Melbourne, Zaneta Mascarenhas of Swan Perth, Sally Most of Reid Sydney and Cassandra Fernando of Holt Melbourne.

But advocates remain dissatisfied with 4 per cent of Asian-Australian representation in parliament. This compares with 16 per cent of Australia’s population born in Asian countries, according to the 2016 census.

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Despite this, Ms Dawson says she is confident Australians will see – and vote for – more politicians of Asian descent and time.
“Australia’s history of multiculturalism and immigration is moving very slowly,” Ms Dawson said.
“It takes time when these communities are established to infiltrate, if you will, break down these barriers.”
And with Sally Mostly the worker taking the reins in Reid’s multicultural chair, and independent MP Dai Le taking the place of the safe Fowler from Kristina Keneally, Ms. Dawson says a clear message.
“It’s really important … that these communities are represented by people who reflect the realities of this community,” Ms. Dawson said.

“I think the challenge now is to make sure they keep on the chairs next time around.”

First Muslims do it in federal parliament

It was the first time for Muslim representation in the 47th parliament, and there .
Senator Payman is also the first Afghan refugee to vote in parliament, a background that Ms Dawson believes is vital to being represented in Australian politics.
“There are parliamentarians of refugee origin who I think are really important to understanding our nation,” Ms Dawson said.
“By First Nations, we are all from an immigrant background.

“It is very important that those who represent us in our parliament reflect the ethnic and cultural composition of the country.”

Australia’s next parliament has been declared. There’s only one politician with a visible disability Source link Australia’s next parliament has been declared. There’s only one politician with a visible disability

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