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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 5 Hansard (6 April) . . Page.. 1482..


MRS BURKE (continuing):

It is well acknowledged that divorce has a negative economic impact on both men and women, but the impact on women is greater and women taken longer to recover, particularly if they have children.

Again, for the reasons I have just said about the Family Court, I think we have to look at the suicide impact that this has on men. Men do not often recover at all; they simply give up because they do not talk things through, like women.

Many members may have seen the photograph circulated "Save the males". I am sure Mr Gentleman and possibly the Minister for Women would be aware of that picture. It is a very graphic photograph. It is a body, supposedly dying on a beach like a beached whale. So it really portrays some of that. We need to make sure that men are involved in the debate. I know that Mr Gentleman speaks out well and very eloquently about the affairs and issues of women; so I think that you and I, Mr Gentleman, may have a balance here in this place. While we have to fight for the rights of women, this is really important. I think a balanced view is really important.

I finish by quoting Ms Haddad's final sentence:

Most of all, we must challenge the assumption that achieving work and family balance is a women's issue, and give our boys a sense of responsibility and expectation in the direct care of their children, and give our girls the tools, confidence and opportunity to create their own security.

Vocational education and training

Children, youth and family support

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations) (6.22): I want to respond to some comments made by Mrs Dunne yesterday, to begin with, around vocational education and training. Mrs Dunne said that, because state Labor governments had not signed up to the commonwealth/state training agreement, what was known as the ANTA agreement, the result has cost this budget, the budget of the ACT, $4 million over the life of the agreement; so here we are appropriating money that we could have found from another source.

That is not factually correct. The ACT's funding from the commonwealth/state training agreement was not reduced by millions of dollars. At the end of 2003, the commonwealth withheld $340,000 that was to be used by this government to provide extra training places for people of the territory. Instead of giving the government the funding, DEST went to a tender round. The outcome of this tender resulted in the same number of places, 130, being allocated to ACT residents.

This government has provided extra funds to support vocational education training—an increase of $2 million in the last budget and a further $3.1 million in the second appropriation bill. This funding is not to make up for any DEST shortfall; it is to fund the growth in new apprenticeships, reflecting our commitment to addressing skill shortages.

In the negotiations for the new funding agreement, this government will be seeking matching funding from the commonwealth to ensure the best training outcomes for ACT


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