Giddings defends Gillard view

Written By miftah nugraha on Kamis, 27 Juni 2013 | 19.55

THE only remaining woman in charge of an Australian government says gender played a part in Julia Gillard's downfall.

Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings has backed Ms Gillard's view that being Australia's first woman prime minister caused some, but not all, of her problems in office.

"She was spot-on with that comment," Ms Giddings told ABC radio today.

"You cannot put all of the issues that she faced as prime minister at the feet of the issue of gender. That would be unfair and not right.

" ... (But) you could not say that gender has not been an issue at all in her leadership either."

Ms Giddings said the outgoing prime minister had blazed a trail for women in the same way the first woman elected to the House of Representatives, Tasmanian Enid Lyons, had done in the 1940s.

"I'm sure that if you went and spoke to the likes of Enid Lyons ... she would have said exactly the same at that time," Ms Giddings said.

"But you need these pioneers and Julia Gillard has definitely been that."

Ms Giddings' government is languishing in the polls and the country could be left without a female leader at federal or state level when Tasmanians go to the polls next March.

The Premier is hopeful returning Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will continue the Gonski school reforms, the National Broadband Network rollout in the state and the funding of the forestry peace agreement.

Tasmania was tipped to sign on to the Gonski package at the ALP state conference this weekend, delivering an extra $400 million to the state's education system.

Ms Gillard was to address the conference, in Burnie, on Sunday.

Ms Giddings said she was ready to sign up as soon as she'd received a formal reply from the former prime minister reassuring her that $105 million in extra GST money would not be affected by Gonski.

"We stand ready and wanting to sign," Ms Giddings said.

" ... My hope is that we'll be able to now work with the new prime minister Kevin Rudd and be able to sign reasonably quickly."

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