You Need To See Julia Banks Ripping Into The Liberal Party’s Treatment Of Women

"If you laid out the three CVs on the table – Dutton, Morrison, Bishop – you'd turf the other two out and say 'she's the one'."

Julia Banks on The Project

Want more Junkee in your life? Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram and Facebook so you always know where to find us.

Back in November, Julia Banks announced she was quitting the Liberal Party with a pretty explosive speech slamming her colleagues. Last night, she appeared on The Project for an equally explosive interview on everything going wrong in the Liberal Party right now.

Which is quite a lot, if you hadn’t noticed. A pretty staggering number of Liberal Party members have either defected from the party or announced their retirements in recent months: there’s Julia Banks herself, but also Michael Keenan, Kelly O’Dwyer, Nigel Scullion, Christopher Pyne, Steven Ciobo, Julie Bishop, and Ann Sudmalis.

As Lisa Wilkinson put it on The Project last night, “what on earth is going on in the Liberal Party?”

“Well, that’s a question I think you’d need to ask Scott Morrison,” Banks demurred, before just going ahead and telling us herself. In short: bullying, incompetence, and “an entrenched culture of anti-women behaviour”.

“It wasn’t before I got on the inside [of the Liberal Party] that I realised how bad it was,” Banks said. “I imagined that the Liberal Party would be a slick, corporate machine. It wasn’t that at all. And in relation to women, it was decades behind the business world.”

She described the experience, early in her political career, of being handed the run sheet for a fundraiser for her own campaign, which showed that a bunch of men would be giving speeches, but not her. “I said ‘well, I’m the preselected candidate, when am I speaking?’, and he said ‘don’t you worry darling, we’ll give you the raffle’. I thought, ‘wow’.”

Banks also pointed out the absurdity of the recent leadership spill, which saw Scott Morrison emerge with the Prime Ministership despite Julie Bishop being the more experienced candidate.

“In the business world, if you laid out the three CVs on the table — Peter Dutton, Scott Morrison, Julie Bishop — you’d turf the other two out and say ‘she’s the one’,” Banks said. “Julie Bishop is the Prime Minister we should have had, and we never will have.”

“It shows the power of the conservative force,” she said.

Banks also said that the recent leadership spill was “certainly led by Tony Abbott”, and “was based purely on self-promotion”. “It had nothing to do with the nation’s interests. It was purely an act of revenge and people wanting to be in positions of power.” She described a culture of bullying surrounding the spill, saying “I know for a fact that members were told ‘if you don’t vote for Peter Dutton, your preselection will be severely compromised'”, but declined to name the bullies specifically.

You can watch the full interview below.

Julia Banks Reveals The State of Australian Politics

When Julia Banks quit the Liberal party she accused her former colleagues of bullying, but refused to name the men responsible.Lisa Wilkinson sat down with the newly independent MP to ask her about dirty tricks in and out of the party room and who’s responsible for the bad behaviour that drove her out.

Posted by The Project on Sunday, 10 March 2019