A group of giant tampons danced in front of parliament house on Wednesday. No, really.
This ‘tampon tax’ thing is quickly becoming a bleeding nightmare for Prime Minister Tony Abbott. On Monday night his treasurer promised to lobby the states to have the GST removed from sanitary items live on national television and now he’s had a group of them camped out on his lawn. Tampons that is, not treasurers.
Bloody hell. It’s not easy being the Minister for Women these days.
Despite the pressure, Tones still hasn’t budged on the issue. Instead, he’s said removing the tax on tampons was certainly “not something that this Government has a plan to do,” adding it was a matter that fell under the jurisdiction of the states.
The debate has been flowing again thanks to Sydney University student Subeta Vimalarajah, who launched an online petition three weeks ago calling on the treasury to have the tax removed.
And it was she, along with protest group GetUp!, who took the fight to Parliament house on Wednesday morning.
Tampons in toe and armed with placards, their message to Tony was boldly printed on an a giant (and rather excellent) billboard behind them: “Mr Abbott, stop hiding from the tampon tax.”
Earlier in the week, Subeta answered a few questions about the campaign for us. She said she was unsurprised by the PM’s response.
“He hasn’t actually addressed the fundamental question of whether sanitary products are health goods yet,” she told Mamamia. “Hopefully some more pressure around the issue can push him to a proper response instead.”
This week, Mamamia Out Loud had advertising guru Dee Madigan on the panel. She called for a National WHITE PANTS day in solidarity of axing the tax. But of course. (Post continues after audio:)
Despite Abbott’s ambivalence, she said the campaign had been far more successful than she could have imagined. She also said she was grateful to Treasurer Joe Hockey for finally taking the issue on board.
“Of course, there has been a fair amount of euphemisms and awkward silences, but that is testament to the taboo we are trying to challenge. It’s great to be having a conversation about the tax, but it’s even better that this has opened up Australia to the reality of periods.
“We still have 3 states to win over and a Prime Minister. This issue has been talked about too much over the last decade with no result, I’m not stopping until we have a solution.”
Here she is, calling for one in Canberra.
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