Breastfeeding politician told to “express more”

IT is claimed Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer was told by Chief Government Whip Scott Buchholz to express more breast milk so she would not miss votes.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that under the standing orders – the set of rules which govern behaviour of MPs in the chamber – new mothers who are breastfeeding are given a proxy vote in the Parliament. This means their vote is counted even though they are not physically in the chamber.

But the Whip did not realise that until he spoke to the opposition’s Chief Whip, Chris Hayes.


The issue flared up on two occasions when Ms O’Dwyer was unable to attend a division and a speaking obligation because she had just begun breastfeeding.

At one stage her office was asked whether the MP had considered expressing more milk instead of breastfeeding.

The pair has since sorted out their differences.