‘Historic’ moment mum breastfeeds while asking question on ABC Q&A TV show


‘Historic’ moment when mom openly breastfeeds on live TV as she asks an ABC Q&A panel about Australia’s housing crisis: ‘I’m thrilled it’s normal now’

  • Breastfeeding mom Kat Watkins gets praised for acting in Q&A question
  • She told host Stan Grant about the cost of living in Wagga Wagga
  • Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth declined call to impose rent cap







Praise erupted on social media after ABC’s Q&A program aired a question from a young mother about the cost of living while breastfeeding.

Kat Watkins’ baby grabbed her blouse Thursday night as she told host Stan Grant how she’d moved to Wagga Wagga, in southern NSW, to find a good job and a more affordable home.

The young mother asked Social Services Secretary Amanda Rishworth a question about rent control and explained how her weekly rent rose sharply with each lease renewal while she was breastfeeding.

The vast majority of viewers praised the moment.

‘Breastfeeding with QandA must be a first. Well done,” said one Twitter user.

“Hats off to the mother who breastfeeds her child while asking a question about Q&A,” said another.

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A young mother has been hailed as a 'breastfeeding crusader' after asking a question about ABC's Q&A program while rocking her baby

A young mother has been hailed as a ‘breastfeeding crusader’ after asking a question about ABC’s Q&A program while rocking her baby

‘We are in the 21st century!’ another man was celebrating.

Not everyone was equally welcoming: ‘I could have done without the breastfeeding distraction on national TV,’ says another.

When answering Ms Watkins’ question about potential rent control, Ms Rishworth said leases are a matter for state governments, even though the previous coalition government had imposed a six-month moratorium on evicting tenants in 2020.

“Well, look, I mean, tenant rules and laws are a state government business,” she said.

Labor went into the May 2022 elections with a $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund pledge to build 30,000 new social and affordable housing in the first five years.

Q&A host Stan Grant asked Ms Watkins about the cost of the pressure she's been suffering from

Q&A host Stan Grant asked Ms Watkins about the cost of the pressure she's been suffering from

Q&A host Stan Grant asked Ms Watkins about the cost of the pressure she’s been suffering from

What the banks expect now

WESTPAC: 3.6 percent spot interest by March 2023 (against 3.35 percent in February)

COMMON BANK: 2.85 percent spot interest in November (versus 2.6 percent)

ANZ: 3.6 percent in May (versus 3.35 percent cash interest in December)

NAB: 2.85 percent spot interest in November

‘We have made a commitment where we will go further as setting up a Future Australia where we will actually build social housing, community housing,’ said Ms Rishworth.

The minister promised to work with local councils to build social housing but declined to commit to limiting rent increases, citing the constitution when Greens deputy leader Mehreen Faruqi challenged her.

Senator Faruqi called on the federal government to freeze rents for two years and called for one million new homes over the next 20 years.

“The rents are sky high,” she said.

‘The situation in Australia is so bad that people live in cars, in tents, in caravans.

“They’re moving from motel to motel.”

The New South Wales Riverina region, which includes Wagga Wagga, has a tight rental vacancy rate of just 0.5 percent, data from SQM Research shows.

At the beginning of 2018, that was 2.5 percent.

Ms Watkins said weekly rents rose sharply with each annual rental renewal, which meant she was more financially stressed from working fewer hours raising her children.

“Originally that was maybe $10, $20 a year with each new lease, but the most recent lease went up $50 and that coincided with maternity leave and I was working less,” she said.

Landlord investors who rent out homes are also under pressure as the Reserve Bank of Australia raised cash interest rates for the sixth straight month to a nine-year high of 2.6 percent in October.

The latest increase means a borrower with an average mortgage of $600,000 will see their repayments rise another $89 per month to $3,055, with the major banks all passing on the 0.25 percentage point increase in the RBA.

Grant noted that Kat’s son was resting comfortably after the live TV discussion “after enjoying his meal.”

What does an interest rate increase of 0.25 percentage point in October mean for you?

$500,000: $74 up to $2,546 from $2,472

$600,000: $89 up to $3,055 from $2,966

$700,000: $104 up to $3,564 from $3,460

$800,000: $118 up to $4,073 from $3,955

$900,000: $133 up to $4,582 from $4,449

$1,000,000: $148 up to $5,091 from $4,943