Calls For Inquiry Over Cricket Australia Abortion Sacking
"You have some serious explaining to do."
Labor leader Bill Shorten has called for an investigation of the Tasmanian Government over allegations that a staffer leaked private medical details of a female Cricket Australia employee shortly before her sacking.
Angela Williamson, 39, was fired by CA after criticising the state government's anti-abortion stance, which forces women to spend hundreds traveling interstate for the procedure.
While lobbying a senior Tasmanian government officials in June about abortion services, she disclosed her own experience of abortion, which she believes was passed on to her former employer.
Speaking in Tasmania, Shorten likened the situation to the My Health Record debacle, and said it proved the need for a national anti-corruption commission.
"Women in Tasmania do not have access to the same medical resources that women on the mainland have. This is wrong. It just shows you the Liberal Party don’t get healthcare," he said.
“If there is political interference from the Tasmanian government where they are trying to blacklist and get a woman sacked because she has a different concern, and a concern for the health of Tasmanian women than the Tasmanian Liberal Government, if they have released private health information, or if they have sought to have this woman black-listed, that shows you why we need a national anti-corruption commission in Australia."
Federal Labor MP Tanya Plibersek tweeted that both the government and Cricket Australia "have some serious explaining to do", while Independent Tasmanian upper house member Ruth Forrest has called for an inquiry into the government's role in Williamson's sacking.
"The Government's and Cricket Australia's actions continue the shaming and stigmatisation of women, regarding their sexual and reproductive health," said Forrest.
Tasmanian Health Minister Michael Ferguson denied he or anyone else in the government lobbied Cricket Australia to have Williamson sacked.
"The government is not responsible for HR decisions made by Cricket Australia," he said.
"Suggestions that the government has disclosed private information, not on the public record, to either Cricket Australia or Cricket Tasmania is wrong."
It comes after revelations that a Tasmanian government staffer sent a screenshot of Williamson's tweets about abortion policy to Cricket Australia, with the message "FYI". The staffer since apologised and resigned.
Meanwhile, more than 22,000 people have signed Williamson's petition calling for all of Australia to have safe, affordable access to abortion.
"I’m speaking publicly now, waiving my privacy, because nobody should have to go through what I went through to access a legal health procedure," she said.
"This is not just a fight for Tasmanian women. This is a fight for women in Cairns forced to fly interstate and women right around Australia forced to spend hundreds of dollars they don’t have on accessing a legal abortion."