Liberal MP’s stinging rebuke of PM
A NSW Liberal MP has come out swinging against Prime Minister Scott Morrison, saying his handling of sexual misconduct complaints at federal parliament has been "indefensible".
Catherine Cusack, a state upper house member based on the NSW north coast, fired off a series of blistering tweets on Tuesday night, addressing the Prime Minister and telling him "he doesn't get it".
"Dear Prime Minister I am not your wife/mother/daughter. I am a female Liberal MP," she began her message.
Dear Prime Minister I am not your wife/mother/daughter. I am a female Liberal MP. I know you love family as do I - and mean well but you clearly do not understand anything about our political experiences. Pls talk your women MPs. If they feel safe- they will tell you!— Catherine Cusack (@katieqs) March 23, 2021
"I know you love family as do I - and (I know you) mean well but you clearly do not understand anything about our political experiences. Pls talk to your women MPs. If they feel safe - they will tell you!"
She said she had a responsibility to feminists who came before her to stand with women.
"It's a no brainer - we must stand with the women of Australia, be true to them and ourselves," she wrote.
Mr Morrison has copped sustained and heavy criticism for the way he's dealt with the current political storm concerning allegations of sexual assaults and misconduct in Canberra.
An attempt at a reset on Tuesday where Mr Morrison faced the press to acknowledge the "rubbish and crap" women have to put up with ended up with the Prime Minister having to make a late-night apology for making insensitive remarks.
Ms Cusack, who tweeted before the apology, urged female federal MPs to speak up and tell the Prime Minister how they feel.
"The federal women MPs are furious and embarrassed but are not speaking out due to 'party loyalty'," she wrote.
"I have personally passed my tipping point. I can't defend the indefensible. If he empowers his female MPs to publicly state their thoughts - then we have the revolution we need."
She said the women in parliament need to "show the character and guts that got (them) into the role".
Replying to a woman who said she wasn't sure Mr Morrison would be able to "recognise courage", Ms Cusack wrote: "I am not confident he will either."
"I am really appealing to my female colleagues in federal parliament to give it a go. On this issue. Now. Just tell him, because he doesn't get it and they really can make a difference."
A man who asked her "Do the men feel safe?" received the response: "If this issue is addressed it's good for men too."
"Good men are as repulsed by these behaviours as women. I have sons in their 20s - loyal Liberals and they want to see this addressed as much as I do. The culture is toxic for everyone irrespective of gender."
The Federal Women MPs are furious and embarrassed but are not speaking out due to “Party loyalty” I have personally passed my tipping point. I can’t defend the indefensible. If he empowers his female MPs to publicly state their thoughts - then we have the revolution we need— Catherine Cusack (@katieqs) March 23, 2021
It's not the first time Ms Cusack has taken a rebel stance.
She was reprimanded by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian last November for going against the state government in a crucial vote on a bill related to koala protections.
Ms Cusack was removed from a post as parliamentary secretary and called out indirectly by Ms Berejiklian in a statement that charged her action would lead to NSW farmers being "held to ransom" by the Greens party.
Originally published as Liberal MP's stinging rebuke of PM