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Tanya Plibersek is an Australian politician who served as Deputy Leader of the Labor Party and Deputy Leader of the Opposition from 2013 to 2019. She has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sydney since 1998. A member of the Labor Party, Plibersek served as a Cabinet Minister in the Rudd and Gillard Governments. She is currently the Shadow Minister for Education and Shadow Minister for Women.
Plibersek worked in the NSW Government’s Domestic Violence Unit before entering parliament. She was elected to the Division of Sydney at the 1998 federal election, aged 28. She joined the Shadow Cabinet in 2004, and when Labor won the 2007 election was made Minister for Housing and Minister for the Status of Women.
In a cabinet reshuffle in 2010, Plibersek was made Minister for Human Services and Minister for Social Inclusion. She was promoted to Minister for Health the following year and held that position until Labor’s defeat in the 2013 election. Plibersek was elected Deputy Leader of the Australian Labor Party in the election’s aftermath. She is a member of the Labor Party’s left faction.
|Net Worth||$4 million|
Tanya Joan Plibersek was born on December 2, 1969 (age 52 years) in Sydney, Australia. He is the youngest of three children born to Joseph and Rose Plibersek. Her older brother Ray is a lawyer, and her oldest brother Phillip (d. 1997) was a geologist. Her parents were born in small Slovenian villages, arriving in Australia unknown to each other as part of the post-war immigration scheme. Her mother Rosalija Repič was born in Podvinci, and came to Australia via Italy. Her father Jože Pliberšek was born in Kočno pri Polskavi, and came to Australia via Austria. He found work as a labourer on the Snowy Mountains Scheme and later spent 20 years working for Qantas as a plumber and gas fitter.
Plibersek grew up in the suburb of Oyster Bay in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire. She attended Oyster Bay Public School and Jannali Girls High School, where she was the dux. She joined the Labor Party at the age of 15. Plibersek studied journalism at the University of Technology Sydney, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. She then took a Masters in Public Policy and Politics at Macquarie University.
She found work with the Domestic Violence Unit at the New South Wales Government’s Office for the Status and Advancement of Women after a failed attempt to secure a cadetship with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). She found working with the state women’s minister Kerry Chikarovski “demoralizing” and later criticized her for focusing on the glass ceiling rather than other women’s issues. Plibersek subsequently joined the office of Senator Bruce Childs, before switching to work for Senator George Campbell as a research officer.
Tanya Plibersek was elected to the House of Representatives at the 1998 federal election, aged 28, retaining the Division of Sydney for the ALP following the retirement of Peter Baldwin. With the support of George Campbell’s “hard left” faction, she won preselection for the seat against twelve other candidates, including ten other women. In the lead-up to the ballot she “wrote to each branch member three or four times, attended branch meetings virtually every night, gave talks to community groups, and contributed to three candidates’ debates”.
Plibersek supported Kim Beazley’s unsuccessful candidacies in the 2003 ALP leadership votes, where he initially lost to Simon Crean and then later to Mark Latham. In July 2003 she and Anthony Albanese publicly criticized Crean for his rejection of the party’s policy on a Second Sydney Airport. After the 2004 election, Plibersek was elected to Latham’s shadow ministry and allocated three portfolios – youth; the status of women; and work and family, community and early childhood education. In June 2005, after Latham was succeeded as opposition leader by Beazley, she retained the youth and status of women portfolios and was given responsibility for childcare. Upon the release of The Latham Diaries she described him as “a negative and critical person”.
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She publicly supported Beazley against Kevin Rudd in the 2006 leadership spill, though was retained in Rudd’s shadow ministry after his defeat of Beazley, with the portfolios of youth; the status of women; and human services and housing. Following the 2007 federal election, Plibersek was appointed Minister for Housing and Minister for the Status of Women in the First Rudd Ministry. Following the 2010 federal election, Plibersek was appointed Minister for Human Services and Minister for Social Inclusion. Her appointment took effect following the birth of Plibersek’s youngest son Louis, and soon afterward Plibersek directed the Human Services response to the 2010-11 Queensland floods. As Minister for Human Services, Plibersek established emergency and recovery centres to provide urgent support to flood-affected communities.
Tanya Plibersek as Minister for Housing, established the National Rental Affordability Scheme to build 50,000 affordable rental homes, invested $6 billion in social housing to build 21,600 new homes and repair 80,000 homes, and provided $550 million for homelessness services. The new housing was built ahead of time and under budget.
Plibersek also established the Housing Affordability Fund and First Home Saver Accounts. In December 2008, along with Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister at that time, Plibersek released the Government’s White Paper on Homelessness, The Road Home, which expressed a goal of halving homelessness by 2020. This goal was abandoned by the incoming Abbott Government which cut homelessness funding and ended the National Rental Affordability Scheme and First Home Saver Accounts.
As Minister for the Status of Women, Plibersek convened the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children in May 2008 and released the National Council’s Plan for Australia to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children in March 2009. Plibersek also addressed the 2009 United Nations International Women’s Day event, attended by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and announced Australia’s formal accession to the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Plibersek said that acceding to the Optional Protocol “will send a strong message that Australia is serious about promoting gender equality and that we are prepared to be judged by international human rights standards.”
Tanya Plibersek as Minister for Health established Grow Up Smiling, a $4 billion package to support better dental care for children, which expanded Medicare-subsided dental check-ups for children from age 2 to 17. She introduced free Gardasil vaccinations, previously only available for girls, for boys to protect against cancers caused by HPV – a world first. Along with the previous Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, Plibersek also implemented world-leading plain packaging of tobacco laws which saw smoking rates drop to 13%.
When Plibersek was Minister for Health, Australia achieved the best 5-year cancer survival rates in the world. Plibersek also delivered 1,300 more hospital beds and 60,000 additional doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. She also oversaw the funding, construction and/or opening of a number of new facilities, including the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse Cancer Centre, the Kinghorn Cancer Centre, the Launceston Multi-Purpose Health Centre, and a new medical and dental school as well as new facilities for the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) in Adelaide.
Plibersek was unanimously elected deputy leader of the Labor Party (and thus Deputy Leader of the Opposition) on 14 October 2013, following the leadership election that had seen Bill Shorten succeed Kevin Rudd as a leader. She was Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development until July 2016. Following the 2016 election, she was made Shadow Minister for Education and Shadow Minister for Women. Shorten said handing Mrs. Plibersek the education portfolio was “about putting a great policy thinker on the political frontline”.
Tanya Plibersek was re-elected at the 2019 election with a swing of 5.7% to the Labor Party. Following the party’s defeat at the federal election of 2019 and Bill Shorten’s immediate resignation as party leader, Plibersek made it known that she was interested in standing in the leadership election, and was supported by Shorten and former prime minister Julia Gillard; however, she concluded that “now is not my time”, citing family responsibilities. After Anthony Albanese’s victory in the leadership contest, Plibersek was appointed Shadow Minister for Education and Training in his new shadow cabinet. In January 2021 Albanese also appointed her Shadow Minister for Women.
Tanya Plibersek has argued that government should actively invest in the economy to promote growth and equality, calling for a federal commitment to a policy of full employment where “Australians who can work, can get a job”. During the coronavirus recession of 2020, she advocated government stimulus over tax cuts for high-income earners. In September 2020, she explained her priorities for economic recovery: “We need to be building things in Australia to support both the skilled tradespeople and the apprentices that we should be training right now. We need to build things. We need to make things. We need to care for people. We need secure jobs with decent pay”.
Plibersek is a long-term supporter of investing in education. As the shadow Minister for Education and Training, she has developed policies across schools, universities, TAFE and vocational education. Prior to the 2019 election, these policies included increasing school funding by $14 billion over a decade, the creation of a new Evidence Institute for Schools and instituting a review of the country’s NAPLAN testing system. In higher education, Plibersek promised to reintroduce the demand-driven system of university funding, creating an extra 200,000 places for students.
She is a strong supporter of renewable energy and transitioning towards clean energy production. She has argued that the renewables industry is key to promoting new jobs, assisting local manufacturing, lowering carbon emissions and reducing power prices. She has also endorsed programs to help households install solar panels on their homes – which have been adopted by over two and a half million Australian households. In 2018, Plibersek argued against providing federal subsidies for new coal-fired power plants.
After the 2007 election, Plibersek was made Federal Minister for Housing in the Rudd government. As part of the government’s response to the Global Financial Crisis, Plibersek implemented a number of policies that both grew the housing stock and stimulated the Australian economy. These policies included the First Home Owners Boost, providing up to $21,000 for people buying new dwellings, the National Rental Affordability Scheme, providing incentives for investors to build properties for low and middle-income Australians, and $6 billion for the construction, repair and improvement of social housing.
Plibersek also released the Homelessness White Paper, which set out a comprehensive national plan to tackle homelessness in Australia with significant funding attached. Plibersek has argued that significant new investment in social and public housing should be part of Australia’s response to the coronavirus economic downturn. However, Plibersek supports an increase to Newstart, Australia’s unemployment benefit, arguing that the current rate is too low, “trapping people in poverty” who are “just surviving” on an allowance of $40 a day.
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Tanya Plibersek is pro-choice. As Minister for Health, Plibersek approved listing the abortion drug RU-486 on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Plibersek described the provision of the medicine as “a good thing in the situation where women are faced with one of the most difficult decisions that they will ever make”. Anti-abortion groups criticized the move, with one campaigner, Margaret Tighe, labeling it a “gross abuse of power.” Other commentators, including Clementine Ford, labeled the decision “progressive”.
Plibersek supports instituting an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, based on the recommendations made in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. As Deputy Leader of the Labor Party, she stated that implementing the Indigenous Voice was her party’s priority in Indigenous affairs, alongside ‘closing the gap’, particularly in health and education. However, Plibersek supports Australia becoming a Republic. As a first-term Member of Parliament in 1999, she campaigned for the yes vote in the constitutional referendum to replace the Queen and Governor-General with a President appointed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament.
From the 1990s onward, Tanya Plibersek campaigned for the removal of discrimination against same-sex de facto couples from federal legislation, raising the issue formally in Parliament on multiple occasions during her parliamentary career (including 1999, 2006, and 2008). In her regular paid advertisement in the South Sydney Herald, Plibersek wrote that “The passing of these reforms to federal legislation was one of the proudest moments of my time in the Australian Parliament” and she has marched in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade almost every year for three decades.
As deputy leader, Plibersek led the push to make support for same-sex marriage binding Labor policy which resulted in many Labor MPs speaking out publicly in support of same-sex marriage. Plibersek seconded a private members bill to legalize same-sex marriage, moved by Labor leader Bill Shorten. She opposed the 2017 postal plebiscite, arguing it was unnecessary and divisive, but campaigned strongly for the ‘yes’ vote during the plebiscite campaign.
Tanya Plibersek an Australian with Slovenian heritage, is a vocal advocate for multiculturalism. On an episode of Q&A in 2018, she clashed with conservative Senator Matthew Canavan on the topic of immigration, arguing against Canavan’s claim that immigrants congregated through ‘ghettoization’. Before the 2019 election, Plibersek pledged $8 million towards community language schools, to expand language training for children.
In January 2020, Plibersek aroused controversy in an Australia Day speech, calling for children to learn the Australian citizenship pledge at school. In the speech, Plibersek argued that progressives should feel more comfortable with the concept of patriotism: “You can be proud of your citizenship and dedicated to progress. You can cherish this nation and want to make it better. You can be a progressive and love your country: I certainly do.”
Tanya Plibersek as Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs opposed the cuts to foreign aid made by the Abbott Liberal Government. In the 2016 election, Labor promised to reverse those cuts if elected.
Plibersek opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In 2003, when then-US President George W. Bush visited Australia, Tanya presented national security adviser Condoleezza Rice with a letter, signed by 43 Labor MPs, explaining why Labor parliamentarians opposed Australia invading Iraq without United Nations approval. She also stated in Parliament, “I do not support an attack on Iraq. I particularly do not support a pre-emptive first strike. Nor do I support any action that is initiated by the US alone rather than being sanctioned by the United Nations.”
While Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs in 2016, Plibersek proposed that Australia redraw its maritime border with East Timor. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, “Mrs. Plibersek lamented that Australia’s pivotal role in securing East Timor’s independence – “a proud moment” – was being tarnished by its refusal to negotiate a new, permanent maritime boundary with East Timor. “The maritime boundary dispute has poisoned relations with our newest neighbour. This must change for their sake and ours,” Mrs. Plibersek said.” This position was later adopted by the Liberal Government, and a new border agreement treaty was signed in 2018.
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Speaking in the House of Representatives on 17 September 2002, Plibersek said: “I can think of a rogue state which consistently ignores UN resolutions, whose ruler is a war criminal responsible for the massacres of civilians in refugee camps outside its borders. The US supports and funds this country. This year it gave it a blank cheque to continue its repression of its enemies. It uses US military hardware to bulldoze homes and kill civilians. It is called Israel, and the war criminal is Ariel Sharon. Needless to say, the US does not mention the UN resolutions that Israel has ignored for 30 years; it just continues sending the money.”
Plibersek’s remarks again gained prominence in October 2013, after she and Bill Shorten were elected as deputy leader and leader of the Labor Party, respectively. After choosing to take on the foreign affairs portfolio while in opposition, Liberal Party MP Julie Bishop, then Minister for Foreign Affairs, said Plibersek should “publicly retract those statements”. The Australian noted that Plibersek’s appointment was likely to be criticized by the Jewish community in Australia.
However, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry expressed satisfaction in Plibersek’s elevation to the deputy leadership, noting that she had ‘developed friendly relations with the Jewish Community. Plibersek visited Israel and the State of Palestine in February 2014, meeting with the Prime Minister of Palestine, Rami Hamdallah.
Tanya Plibersek is married to Michael Coutts-Trotter, they had their wedding in 2000. Her husband is a senior public servant in the NSW Government. The couple has three children Anna Coutts-Trotter, Joseph Coutts-Trotter, and Louis Coutts-Trotter. She currently lives in a private house in Sydney with her husband Michael Coutts-Trotter and children. However, in September 2016, her older brother Ray Plibersek was elected to the Sutherland Shire council representing C Ward for the Australian Labor Party. Plibersek is fond of bushwalking and the novels of Jane Austen.
Tanya Plibersek net worth
How much is Tanya Plibersek worth? Tanya Plibersek net worth is estimated at around $4 million. Her main source of income is from her career as a politician. Plibersek successful career has earned her some luxurious lifestyles and some fancy cars trips. She is one of the richest and influential politicians in Australia. However, Following the 2010 federal election, when Labor retained government with the support of the Australian Greens and independents, parliamentary numbers were finely balanced. After some controversy, Plibersek was granted a pair by the Coalition so that her absence from the House of Representatives while on maternity leave did not affect the result of votes. She gave birth to her son later that year.