‘No overnight solution’: PM caution on crisis

Anthony Albanese was heckled at the rallies on Sunday. NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

Anthony Albanese says there are “no overnight solutions” to the violence against women crisis facing Australia, ahead a snap national cabinet meeting on the issue.

The Family and Sexual Violence Commissioner will present at the specially convened National Cabinet on Wednesday morning, after the issue reached boiling point over the weekend with rallies calling for change with the violent deaths of at least 26 women this year.

“I am keen to work with all the Premiers and Chief Ministers on how we eradicate this scourge of violence against women,” the Prime Minister, who has been slammed after his appearance at the Canberra rally, said.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told the No More! National Rally Against Violence march in Canberra National Cabinet will meet on Wednesday. NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

“It is not enough to support victims, or mourn them – we need to focus on the perpetrators and on prevention.

“The heartbreaking reality is that there are no overnight solutions to violence against women. “This is hard work and demands a real cultural change. We are committed to making progress.”

He said governments had been working on the national 10-point plan to eradicate the issue over the past two years.

“This is not a women’s issue, it is a national crisis and we have to take responsibility for addressing it as a nation.”

A spokesperson said the meeting’s agenda will focus on online harms, particularly when it comes to countering violent and misogynistic content, and access to age-inappropriate material on social media.

The meeting will also consider opportunities for further cooperation between the Commonwealth and the States on information sharing about high risk perpetrators and serial offenders.

PM accused of lying at rally

Mr Albanese announced the special National Cabinet meeting at the Canberra rally, which ended with accusations that he had lied at the rally.

He said “it was an emotional day” for everyone, as he faces criticism from the protest’s organiser.

Protest organiser of the No More! National Rally Against Violence march Sarah Williams has accused the PM of lying to rally attendees. NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

Thousands of people marched over the weekend as part of “no more” rallies across the country which coincide with police charging a Perth man with the alleged murder of his partner.

It marks the 27th man charged in relation to the death of a woman in the first 119 days of the year.

Mr Albanese and his senior colleagues, including Minister for Women Minister Katy Gallagher, were repeatedly heckled at a “no more” rally outside of Parliament House on Sunday.

In a speech, he claimed he’d been denied permission to address the rally.

The organisers of the rally, found of non-profit group What Were You Wearing Sarah Williams, said the remark was a “flat out lie”.

“Him coming out and saying he … asked to speak and denied was really upsetting,” she told Sunrise on Monday morning.

“It was quite traumatic for me but (also) for everyone in the audience, all victim survivors, across the country.

“Our Prime Minister just flat-out lied on a national scale in front of the whole country.”

Mr Albanese was confronted with the accusation while he fronted up for round of morning television interviews. He said he was happy whether he spoke or not, as the rally was about a call to action to do more.

“It’s not enough to just have empathy. The fact that one woman dies every four days, on average, at the hand of a partner, is just a national crisis,” the Prime Minister told Channel 9.

The prime minister Anthony Albanese has appeared on Channel Nine’s Today, addressing controversy around yesterday’s rallies against gendered violence.
Anthony Albanese was grilled about the fury on Monday.

“We need to change culture, because it is completely unacceptable.”

But host Karl Stefanovic pushed back: “You were called a liar? How does that sit with you?”

Mr Albanese shrugged it off: “I’m focused on the issue, Karl.

“It was an emotional day for people and I get that on what is an emotional issue because women were saying yesterday enough is enough,” he said.

“Right around the country, over the last three days, we’ve seen tens of thousands of people demonstrate women and men, girls and boys all coming together on this critical issue. And we do need to do better as a society.”

Rally organiser scales up complaint against PM

Ms Williams said several times during the rally she did not want Mr Albanese or any other politicians to speak unless they agreed to commit to demands put by WWYW.

The not-for-profit is additionally demanding enhanced reporting options for those experiencing family violence and new rules that prevent media from publishing images of women killed by men for 48 hours following the murder.

She repeated that on Monday morning and went further, telling Sydney’s 2GB radio that Mr Albanese had declared “I am the prime minister. I run the country” before addressing the crowd.

Mr Albanese would not confirm or deny the claim or say whether he’d reached out to Ms Williams to clear the air.

“I’m not going to get into that sort of debate,” he told Channel 7.

“People, including Seven, were there for the recording of everything that went on. So you were all there, so the media were all around, they heard everything that was said there.”

The Prime Minister and other senior cabinet members attended the rally on Sunday. NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

Finance Minister Katy Gallagher told the ABC there had been discussions about who would be put on the speaking list for the rally but they weren't able to “land” an agreement.

“I think the rally expected to hear from their Prime Minister, so he stood up and spoke. And I would say I can’t think of another prime minister who spent a couple of hours, one hour walking and the rest of the time listening, to speakers,” she said.

“He was there as a sign of solidarity. He wanted to show that he was deeply interested and cared about the matters that were being raised at that rally and he did.”

But Nationals leader David Littleproud said Mr Albanese “got what he deserved” in the backlash.

“He was tone deaf regardless of whether he was asked to speak or not,” Mr Littleproud said.

“That’s not the point to make at a rally when it was about a young lady, Sarah Williams, who had the courage of her own convictions to come forward and organise that rally.

“If he had issues about whether he was invited to speak or not, it’s not to make it public in front of the public that were there – and when Sarah became emotionally distraught, for the Prime Minister to continue on … he was tone deaf.”

Emergency national cabinet meeting to be held

Mr Albanese will convene a meeting of the national cabinet on Wednesday to discuss a plan to tackle the crisis with premiers. But he’s ruled out declaring it a national emergency, insisting the crisis needed more than just one-off solutions.

“We’ll be discussing what practical measures we can take to make a difference on this issue,” he said.

“You can’t solve it overnight. This isn’t an issue just for governments. This is an issue for men. And their behaviour. It’s an issue for society’s culture.

Online misogyny working against efforts to tackle violence against women

Speaking on Sunrise, Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said she wasn’t surprised at the level of frustration within the community at the rallies on the weekend.

The Labor frontbencher noted that despite recent investments – such as 10 days paid domestic violence leave and millions being funnelled into perpetrator programs – “the behaviour continues”.

“Governments (are) investing money, police are changing what they do, courts are changing what they do, courts are changing what they do, there’s more emergency support out there but what’s working against that is this incredible amount of violent misogyny online,” she said.

“There’s this smorgasbord of violent misogyny that’s being fed to, particularly, adolescent boys.

Tanya Plibersek and Barnaby Joyce go head to head on Sunrise.
Tanya Plibersek and Barnaby Joyce agree more needs to be done to curb violence against women.

“And so, society is trying to fix it on the one hand and, on the other hand, we have the exact opposite force happening, working against us trying to improve things.”

Nationals frontbencher Barnaby Joyce said there needed to be a greater focus on the family unit and how pornography is “completely misinterpreting the attitude that should exist between men and women in a respectful way.”

“We can try and remove that, and we should. But we should also have parents who make absolutely certain that they do the frontline policing on this,” he told Channel 7.

“I think a lot of that action is going to be harder than just focusing on the child. Got to be really careful that you don’t presume that every boy is going to grow up to be a criminal, because that’s what they are.”

Ms Plibersek hit back, arguing the problem is that “women don’t know who these men are … until you’re in a relationship” with them.

“Of course not every man is violent. Most men would be horrified at that. But we don’t know who they are until we are in a relationship with them,” she replied.

If you or someone you know is experiencing sexual abuse or family violence contact:


  • National Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence Counselling Service 24-hour helpline 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732

  • 24-hour Emergency Accommodation helpline on 1800 800 588

  • Safe At Home helpline on 1800 633 937

  • National Violence and Abuse Trauma Counselling and Recovery Service on 1800 FULLSTOP (1800 385 578). They also have a specific line for the LGBTIQA+ community called the Rainbow Sexual, Domestic and Family Violence Helpline on 1800 497 212

  • SHE (free and confidential counselling and support) on 6278 9090

  • Sexual Assault Support Services on 6231 1811, or after hours 6231 1817

  • Family Violence Crisis and Support Service on 1800 608 122

  • Bravehearts – Sexual Assault Support for Children on 1800 BRAVE 1

  • Kids Helpline is for young people aged 5 to 25 on 1800 551 800


Don't go it alone. Please reach out for help by contacting Lifeline on 13 11 14