A new study of parliamentary records shows teachers – the most common route into federal politics three decades ago – have been replaced by political operatives, with up to 40 per cent of all MPs and 50 per cent of all Labor representatives now hailing from backgrounds as political staffers.
Only one side of politics, Labor, has made any real progress on female representation, but overall only a third of federal MPs are women – compared to 51 per cent of the population. The Nationals have only added one female MP in 30 years.
Culturally and ethnically, Parliament is in a time warp. Since 1988, the proportion of Australians born overseas has risen from 22 per cent to 33 per cent, but their representation in Parliament has stalled at 11 per cent.Advertisement