No merit in quotas

Ms Harvey said people must be promoted on merit, not on the basis of a required number, after the Federal Labor Party announced it would aim for half of parliamentary seats to be filled by women within a decade at its National Conference last month.

�We should encourage and support more women to consider a political career and crucial to this are mentors who can guide women through their political career,� Ms Harvey said.

�Resolutions at State and Federal level are being made that will affect all Australians and to have a fair representation of our diverse groups is important to ensure positive outcomes.�

Federal Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek announced last month the party had committed to the 50 per cent quota.

�Women are half the population and they should make up half of our parliament too,� she said.

Ms Harvey said she had never felt as though there were barriers in her political life due to her gender.

�In my various parliamentary roles, I discuss with young women I meet that pursuing a political career is a challenging and rewarding one,� she said.

Liberal Party state director Ben Morton echoed Ms Harvey�s comments last week.

�Interestingly, the last three pre-selections in the Liberal Party in WA have resulted in the selection of women, not men, and all on merit.�