Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott spent the morning of International Women's Day taking tea and cake with female voters in Melbourne and spruiking his paid parental leave scheme.
Mr Abbott told an audience of women, and a few squirming children, in the safe Liberal seat of Higgins that it was vital payment for working parents be a workplace entitlement and not a welfare entitlement.
"If we are going to encourage the women of Australia to have families and careers, if we are going to ensure that people have a maximum chance to be economic as well as social contributors ... we need a fair dinkum paid parental leave scheme," he said.
Mr Abbott said such a scheme was the completion and fulfillment of the values he and the Liberal Party had always held dear.
Serving as the health minister under the Howard government, Mr Abbott opposed a paid maternity leave scheme.
At the time, he was widely quoted as saying paid maternity leave would happen "over this government's dead body".
On Friday, Mr Abbott attributed his earlier attitudes to a "blind alley" on his journey towards his current policy position.
"When it comes to paid parental leave I have been on a journey," Mr Abbott said.
"I went up a few blind alleys in my journey ... but I've come to the right place."