CLOSING THE GENDER PAY GAP IN NSW STATE OF ORIGIN
Today in Question Time, Amanda stood wearing a QLD Origin team scarf in protest of the fact that NSW Rugby League refuses to follow QLD Rugby League's lead in ensuring equal pay for all players.
My question is directed to the Treasurer, representing the Minister for Sport. Since 2022, Queensland Rugby League has provided equal remuneration for all players representing the Queensland Maroons. Meanwhile, in New South Wales women representing the Sky Blues are paid less than half the earnings of their male counterparts. That deliberate pay discrepancy would not be acceptable in any other sector. The 2022 Rugby League World Cup provided equal payment to all its elite sportspeople, including women and wheelchair players. Will the New South Wales Government use its influence with New South Wales Rugby League to close the gender pay gap so that I can barrack for New South Wales next year?
The Treasurer said:
I thank Dr Cohn for her question. Like many members of the House, we are looking forward to Dr Cohn's inaugural speech tonight. I cannot help but observe her scarf right now, which goes to the point she is making. The member has asked me this question in my capacity as representing the Minister for Sport, so I will take it on notice. But she raises a good point. For a long time inequity related to gender has existed in the way in which professional sportspeople have been treated. That requires addressing by all major and minor sporting codes.
I understand that Dr Amanda Cohn and Ms Abigail Boyd have campaigned on this for a long time. We are well and truly alive to the fact that progress needs to be made, and I will provide a formal response as to whether we intend to engage with the NRL on this issue. I can say the Government uses every part of its influence to encourage the equal treatment of all people at work. We have to reverse the effects of gender inequity, especially on pay and remuneration, for sportspeople, public servants and private sector workers. It is pleasing that it is a key part of the Federal Government's reforms to the Fair Work Act. It is pleasing that, in women's sports especially, organising and unionising has been leading to change. That is a good thing. We take this issue very seriously. Progress needs to be made. I will come back to the House with a far more detailed and specific answer.
After this, I joined Equal Pay for Equal Play co-founder Lucy Small in calling on the NSW Government to intervene immediately, to ensure that NSW's Origin men and women's teams are paid equally.