Farrer MP Sussan Ley has revisited her stance on the need for female quotas to boost the representation of women in the federal parliament.
The 20-year veteran of federal politics has for the first time said the Liberal Party should have a female quota of 40 per cent which would be a significant jump on the 23 per cent presently.
Ms Ley first raised female quotas in federal parliament in 2018 after former Liberal Party colleague and deputy leader Julie Bishop felt it wasn't acceptable at the time for there to be less than 25 per cent of the party being women.
The resurrection of quotas comes as the Coalition government lurches from one controversy to another over sexual assault allegations in Canberra.
"I think 40 per cent is a good target to have when it comes to quotas," Ms Ley told Channel Nine.
"Simply because there's a bit of a rule around the boardroom table that 30 per cent is a voice, but the percentage isn't the important thing.
"It's getting to that critical mass."
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After the 2019 election, Labor fell just short of its target of equal representation with 47 per cent of MPs in the parliament being women.
But the Liberals are certain to be missing at least one woman in parliament with South Australian Nicolle Flint already announcing she wouldn't be contesting the seat of Boothby at the next election.
Farrer and neighbouring Indi have had an unbroken run of female MPs in the federal parliament since 2001 with Ms Ley taking over from the late Tim Fischer and Sophie Mirabella also being elected in the same year in Indi and succeeding Lou Lieberman.
When Mrs Mirabella lost the 2013 election she was replaced by another woman, Cathy McGowan, who was subsequently replaced by Helen Haines.
Dr Haines said "of course" there should be more women in federal parliament.
"The number of Liberal women MPs is appallingly low," she said.
"We know that one of the key issues facing women is they are under-represented in positions of power.
"At a time of unprecedented demands for action on violence against women, a strong message of hope from the Liberal Party would be a commitment to preselecting women into safe seats.
"If a quota system can achieve that then good, make it happen, because they have been woeful at making it happen to date."
Ms Ley defended Prime Minister Scott Morrison most recent press conference on the allegations of abuse and harassment towards women.
"What I took from that speech was genuine heartfelt recognition that he has now heard the voices of many women both inside and outside this building, that he does want us all to be part of change," she said on ABC.
"And that for many listening was very refreshing because too often something happens and it's about how do you get past this and out the other side and back to business as usual?
"So, that's what we don't want to see and that's what many of the women in the parliament including me are saying we can't afford to do.
"This time we have to do things differently."
On a separate topic, Ms Ley responded to reports the state member for Murray Helen Dalton was considering a switch to federal politics by contesting Farrer at the next election.
"I think some people might be a little surprised that Helen has sort of thrown in the towel in state politics only half-way through the term and the issues that she spoke about, I think, on your program are actually all state government issues," Ms Ley said.
The recent tourism package and water were among the issues of concern highlighted by Mrs Dalton.
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