Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 4 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 1169..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
Australians. They have established a website where people can inquire about what it is to follow Sikhism and to highlight the fact that they want to be very much a part of Australian society, very much a part of Canberra society, and that they have much to offer, much that they have offered and much that they will offer in contributing in the future.
I say well done to them. It is fabulous. The shame, for my part, is that there were not a particularly great number of people there. Those that were there were very interested and intrigued by it. The presentation was good. There was a short film, followed by the opening of the exhibition. Then there was some afternoon tea provided. On behalf of the Liberal Party, we say thank you to the Sikh community in the ACT for putting on the presentation.
Mr Zed Seselja
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (6.13): I rise tonight to let you know that I was flicking through the Canberra Times this morning when I came across a story about one of the Assembly members being nominated for an award. Just in case it has not made it around the building, I formally congratulate Mr Seselja for his third place in this year's Greg awards held by the Women's Electoral Lobby of the ACT.
The annual Greg award seeks to recognise, and I quote from today's Canberra Times, "the most appallingly poor comment about women in the past year". Mr Seselja was awarded a place for his comment in his inaugural speech in which he stated:
... it is now time that a minister for men was appointed in the ACT.
He will not be receiving the trophy, however. The honour goes to his Liberal comrade Alan Cadman, whose delightful comment on willy-nilly pregnancies earned him the title of winner. A close second for his comments on "shooting pregnant women"was Barnaby Joyce. Zed will not be making the wall of shame this year, but congratulations just the same for mocking the work done by this government and previous governments in seeking gender equality in the ACT. It always amazes me that there are not more awards out there that seek to acknowledge the comments of the ill-informed and the ignorant. So a big thanks to the Women's Electoral Lobby of the ACT for their fine work in coordinating this award.
For Mr Seselja's benefit, and just in case he wishes to avoid the honours of the Greg award, I provide this Assembly with some sobering statistics. If you are a woman currently employed in the ACT you earn, on average, 70.3 per cent of the wage that men receive. You are more likely to be employed on a casual or insecure basis. As we heard yesterday, a woman's position within the work force is placed at an even further disadvantage with the increased use of individual contracts. Women on AWAs earn 20 per cent less than men on AWAs. Only 11 per cent of AWAs include maternity leave, paid or unpaid.
Then there is the glass ceiling on women's employment. The glass ceiling is in fact a concrete block, with the EOWA census showing that women make up only 10.2 per