politics

Australia goes to the polls in 40 days. Here's what 60 women want our new government to know.

To keep up to date with the federal election campaign as we head to the polls to vote on May 21, visit our election hub page. There you'll find analysis, explainers and all the results of our Mamamia Votes survey. 

For weeks we've been waiting for the federal election to be called, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison has finally given us that all important date to pop in the diary: May 21. 

Speaking outside Parliament House on Sunday to kick off the six-week campaign, the prime minister said, "I love this country. I love Australians.

"I know Australians have been through a very tough time. I also know that Australia continues to face very tough challenges in the years ahead. More than ever, I know that we live in the best country in the world and more that than ever I am optimistic about our future and what I know Australians can achieve," he said. 

"This election is about you," he told us.

Watch: Here's what we were promised in the budget/s. Post continues after video.


Video via Mamamia

The game has well and truly begun, with Morrison in the marginal NSW seat of Gilmore today. He's announcing a $40m dollar road upgrade to kick off the Coalition's campaign. 

Labor leader Anthony Albanese is in the marginal Tasmanian seat of Bass, where he will announce plans to deliver a boost to children with hearing loss. 

This is just the start of what will no doubt be six weeks of promises. 

To cut through the noise, Mamamia surveyed 5000 audience members to get their thoughts, hopes and aspirations for the future government of Australia. 

After reading through all of the answers there was a clear theme; plenty of pleas for action on climate change - which isn't surprising given 68.7 per cent of respondents nominated it as one of their top five election issues. And a deep desire for less talk and more action and honesty. 

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Here's just a taste of what 60 women told us they want from whoever is elected on May 21:

1. Listen to the people.

2. Keep your promises.

3. Please take action on climate change.

4. Govern for all.

5. Listen to women.

6. Please be better. Be a government we can be proud of.

7. Whoever wins, stand up and lead. It’s not about putting out the spot fires that are current issues - create meaningful long-term plans. 

8. Focus on growing small businesses, bring back manufacturing to our shores, make the big guys pay their fair share of tax, bring wages in line with cost of living and please don't embarrass us as a nation.

9. Please listen to the people. Do not just pursue own agenda.

10. The planet is slipping away, please help it. 

11. Please take climate change more seriously.

12. Bring Australian’s wellbeing and fortunes (not businesses) back into focus. 

13. Think of our kids.

14. Govern for all Australians, present and future. Rich and poor. Queer and straight. Christian, Muslim, non religious. EVERYONE deserves a fair go. 

15. Be ambitious and visionary. Systemic structural changes are required everywhere.

16. Integrity, communication with less spin, accept responsibility, LEAD!

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17. Listen to women and put them in the top roles. 

18. Make us united and strong.

19. Lift the quality of politics and get your focus on what the people want, not what the party wants.

20. Climate emergency! Nothing else matters if we can’t live on our earth.

21. My body and my life is not up to men to decide. Enough.

22. Lead the country with empathy and foresight for the challenges facing us now and decades into the future. Don’t waste more time on petty point scoring.

23. Don't forget regional and remote Australia.

24. Renewal energy sources are the future, no more coal. Do something to support climate change. Show a bit more compassion for people than the current government has shown and think about protecting our future generations.

25. Think about the long-term difference you could have.

26. Be nice. To everyone. If our individual rights are important then you must let us exercise them, not constrain them to fit your world view - I'm thinking abortion, pronouns, marriage, etc. 

27. Change the date. Seriously. It’s well overdue.

28. Fix up free education.

29. Do better! And send the Murraguppan family back to Biloela.

30. Focus on the issues that matter most to the community. Be fair and equitable.

31. Please make childcare options a priority including before and after school care if you are serious about women returning to the workforce. It is literally impossible for some.

32. Do better than what we’ve had. Fix our country. We deserve better.

33. Guard our country well.

34. Earn the votes you are given, govern smartly with the best business minds you can, look ahead and beyond the bubble, seek out advice from more experienced and skilled people than yourselves. Plan for disasters, plan for pandemics. 

35. Support industry, farming and business that is Australian owned and operated.

36. Be kind. The rest will come naturally.

37. Now is the time for real social change with women, Indigenous people, domestic violence action and equity top of the agenda. 

38. Please fairly represent the voices of the Australian public. 

39. Let’s bring some bright ideas to the table. Take risks, debate ideas, challenge the status quo to affect change.

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40. Don't break your promises. 

41. Please reduce childcare costs. 

42. Be ambitious and visionary. Systemic structural changes are required everywhere. 

43. Climate change needs to be taken seriously now.

44. Make living easier for families.

45. Please fix this place and inspire and bring people together again. Take care of the less privileged and give health care workers and teachers a pay rise. Trickle down economics doesn’t work.

46. Do better by our kids, planet and those who are being killed by family violence. 

47. Listen to the people (especially the young people), not the old boy's club. 

48. Just start by genuinely considering women as equal and valuable contributors to the economy.

49. Tell the truth, no matter how bad. Just tell us the truth.

50. Listen to women, they are coming for you.

51. Just care about people. Like real people, poor, homeless, Indigenous, gay, rich, straight, disabled... All.

52. Please recognise that there is a major problem with how women are treated in Australia and prioritise measures to turn this problem around.

53. Rebuild trust with electorates by speaking frankly and fearlessly. Act with conviction and stand by those even if it is not politically expedient. Take action, don’t give us lip service.

54. Please listen to the Australian people. You can’t please everyone. And the ‘loudest’ are not often the majority. They do not represent what your average person thinks. Let them whinge. That’s ok.

55. Please take family violence seriously.

56. Listen to the average Aussie.

57. Start behaving honestly, respectfully and humanely.

58. Women have a unique perspective, we are strong and intelligent and you should listen to us more.

59. People over profits. Even if it causes some short-term pain.

60. Listen to the people. Listen to the experts. 

You can keep up to date with Gemma Bath's articles here, or follow her on Instagram, @gembath.

Feature image: Canva/Mamamia.

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