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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . .

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I know that the older persons assembly canvassed a range of issues. I appreciate the update that Minister Gentleman has given today because, for all of us—particularly for ministers but for all of us in the Assembly—the issues affecting older Canberrans cut right across a range of issues in the various portfolios that ministers hold, as well as across all of the interests that I know members in the Assembly have.

I think it is beneficial for all of us to be given an update on the proceedings of the day. For those members that were not able to attend, or were not able to attend all of it, it is probably worth having a look a look at some of the transcripts from the day. There were some very diverse views, and that was interesting in itself. I do not think we should see older people as a homogeneous group. There were some feisty discussions—that would perhaps be the way to put it—and people put different, contradictory or alternative views. It is important also that we do not think of them as simply having one view because they are over 65. That is something worth keeping in mind as well.

I certainly look forward to working with Minister Gentleman to implement some of the outcomes from the day and to the continual discussion that the government will no doubt have with our older residents.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

ACT women's economic and financial progress 2014

Statement by minister

Debate resumed from 18 March 2014, on motion by Ms Burch:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

MRS JONES (Molonglo) (10.33): I am pleased to rise today to resume the debate on the ACT women's economic and financial progress statement that the minister made in a previous sitting week. Too often when women embark on our work life, trusting that the system that society has put together will work for us, we need to ask ourselves: where do we want to end up and what are we aiming for? We need to take stock of where we are at now and assess what needs to be done to achieve our goals.

The nine to five working model was designed for men and it stubbornly has trouble adapting to women's lives. The nine to five workday was a constraint of the original workday of the industrial revolution when advancing economies abandoned the family farm in droves and moved into the cities. However, it was probably a product of the maximum time a man could spend away from home and still keep a family together.

In the workplace, attitudes towards pregnancy, parental leave and family responsibilities need to evolve a lot further for the purpose of women achieving financial security. We can clearly see the evidence of this in the report Pregnancy and return to work released this year by the national Sex Discrimination Commissioner, which I have spoken about at length in previous speeches in this place. The report


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