‘Historic’ moment mum openly breastfeeds on live TV as she asks an ABC panel about Australia’s rental crisis: ‘Love that it’s now normal’
- Breastfeeding mother Kat Watkins is praised for performing act in Q&A question
- She told host Stan Grant about cost of living pressures in Wagga Wagga
- Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth declined call to impose rental cap
Social media has erupted with praise after the ABC’s Q&A program broadcast a question from a young mum about the cost of living while she breastfed.
Kat Watkins’ baby gripped her blouse on Thursday evening as she told host Stan Grant and the panel show about how she moved to Wagga Wagga, in southern NSW, in a bid to find a good job and a more affordable house.
Ms Watkins asked Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth a question about rent control, reporting how her weekly rent increased sharply with every lease renewal, as she breastfed.
The vast majority of viewers praised the moment. ‘Breastfeeding on QandA must be a first. Well done’, said one Twitter user.
‘Hats off to the mum breastfeeding her kid as she asks a question on Q&A,’ said another.
‘We’re in the 21st century!’ another man celebrated.
Not everyone was as welcoming: ‘I could have done without the distraction of the breastfeeding on national TV,’ said another.
To answer Ms Watkins’s question about rent control being introduced, Ms Rishworth said tenancies were a matter for state governments.
‘Well, look, I mean tenant rules and laws are matters for state government,’ she said.
Q&A host Stan Grant asked Ms Watkins about the cost of living pressures she is under
What the banks are now expecting
WESTPAC: 3.6 per cent cash rate by March 2023 (up from 3.35 per cent in February)
COMMONWEALTH BANK: 2.85 per cent cash rate by November (up from 2.6 per cent)
ANZ: 3.6 per cent by May (up from 3.35 per cent cash rate by December)
NAB: 2.85 per cent cash rate by November
Labor went to the May 2022 election with a $10billion Housing Australia Future Fund promise to build 30,000 new social and affordable housing properties in its first five years.
‘We’ve made a commitment where we’re going forward as setting up a Future Australia where we’re actually going to build public housing, community housing,’ Ms Rishworth said.
The cabinet minister promised to work with local councils to build public housing but declined to commit to putting a cap on rental increases, citing the constitution when Greens deputy leader Mehreen Faruqi challenged her.
Senator Faruqi called for the federal government to freeze rents for two years and called for a million new homes over the next 20 years.
‘Rents are sky high,’ she said.
‘The situation is so bad in Australia that people are living in cars, they’re living in tents, they’re living in caravans.
‘They’re moving from motel to motel.’
Landlord investors who rent out homes are also being squeezed with the Reserve Bank of Australia in October raising the cash rate for a sixth straight month to a nine-year high of 2.6 per cent.
The latest increase means a borrower with an average $600,000 mortgage will see their repayments climb by another $89 a month to $3,055, with the major banks all passing on the RBA’s 0.25 percentage point increase.
Grant noted Kat’s son was resting comfortably following the live TV discussion ‘after enjoying his meal’.
What a 0.25 percentage point rate rise in October will mean for you
$500,000: Up $74 to $2,546 from $2,472
$600,000: Up $89 to $3,055 from $2,966
$700,000: Up $104 to $3,564 from $3,460
$800,000: Up $118 to $4,073 from $3,955
$900,000: Up $133 to $4,582 from $4,449
$1,000,000: Up $148 to $5,091 from $4,943