Julie Bishop Commits Cash For Female Fund
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has promised to donate money to the Liberal Party's new female fighting fund after cabinet colleague Kelly O'Dwyer tipped in $50,000 from her own pocket.
Liberal deputy leader Ms Bishop confirmed she would make a contribution to the fund, which was set up by Ms O'Dwyer earlier in the year.
"Not only will I make a donation but I will urge others who to see more Liberal women preselected and win elections in the federal parliament," Ms Bishop told ABC TV on Tuesday.
But she isn't sure how big her donation will be.
"I haven't had a look at my campaign funds. I'll see what I can provide," Ms Bishop said.
"But I can assure you I seek to provide support to colleagues across Australia and I'll certainly be providing funding for this particular campaign to see more women elected to parliament."
The new fund, named after Enid Lyons - the first woman elected to the lower house - could be used to fund female candidates in seats the party lost at the last election.
"I have committed $50,000 to the fund and I have written to all members of the cabinet to encourage them to do the same," Ms O'Dwyer told The Australian.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said his colleague was showing great initiative and leadership by donating to the fund.
"My conference in the Liberal Party in Sydney will certainly match that," he told 3AW radio.
Asked whether he would personally contribute, he said his conference would.
The donations come after assistant minister Jane Prentice lost a pre-selection battle against her former staff member Julian Simmonds, sparking a debate about the number of women in the Liberals.
Liberal Party Women's Committee chair and former senator Helen Korger said the party couldn't afford to go backwards on female representation.
"We cannot be removing women from incumbent positions without replacing them with women," she told ABC radio.