opinion

Outrage as politician refused leave to be with her sick baby

The Coalition refused a request yesterday by a female MP to take leave from parliament to care for her sick daughter.

Member for Greenway Michelle Rowland sought urgent agreement from the opposition chief whip Warren Entsch to be granted a "pair" from 6pm last night so she could catch the last plane home to Sydney from Canberra.

Her 14-month-old daughter, Octavia, has been suffering flu and severe fever since Mother's Day.

Pairing is a system where if one member is unable to vote, a member from the opposing party agrees to abstain to maintain fairness.

Rowland told news.com.au:  "The only item of business I would have missed on Thursday night was Tony Abbott's Budget reply speech.

"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."

Following media enquiries and community outrage, the Coalition hastily revised its decision this morning and will allow Rowland to leave Canberra after 5pm this afternoon.

But, as one Facebook commenter noted: "'Woman-friendly' Tony Abbott reveals his true colours. Spread the word."

Do you think the Coalition was unreasonable in blocking Michelle Rowland's request to be with her sick baby?

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