Page 290 - Week 01 - Thursday, 10 February 2022

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Climate change also means more need for indoor facilities for the growth in indoor sports, where fewer games are called off due to weather, and for outdoor sports to have a safe space to train when the outside environment is too hot or smoky or is impacted by storms. The increase in extreme weather events with climate change also means we need more spaces that can be used for emergency evacuation, and sports facilities with amenity blocks and large halls are ideal.

Community sports also play an important role in community recovery and rebuilding social connections. Right now, Canberrans are looking for places in their local neighbourhood to reconnect through shared love of sports or dance or yoga or other activities. COVID has meant two years of missing out on favourite activities for many Canberrans, especially seniors, people with disability and people who are immunocompromised. As people regain their confidence to be out in shared spaces, it is important that we have facilities for those informal, volunteer-run community sports.

I look forward to discussion in this place in the coming months about how the ACT government can support social connection and community recovery through better access to community sports facilities across our city, including indoor multi-use sports courts, community meeting rooms in Woden and the public pool in Phillip. I also look forward to the ACT government’s response to Mr Davis’s motion last April calling for a sports facilities management plan and support for a community sports peak body.

Crimes against women—proposed reform

DR PATERSON (Murrumbidgee) (4.49): What a start to the year. It has been a big week for substantial reform regarding sexual assault and sexual violence in the ACT. There has been a groundswell of coincidental and fortuitous timing on a range of activity in this space.

The importance of these things happening in the first sitting week for this Legislative Assembly and for the federal parliament cannot be overstated. Both levels of government have chosen to start the year with legislative reform and cultural and workplace changes regarding sexual assault, which highlights that we are at a pivotal and critical moment. However, there is a long road ahead. I am pleased to play my part in the journey that we, as a community and as a nation, have commenced.

I want to summarise the activities of this week through a very brief curation of what has taken place. On Tuesday I tabled in the Assembly the long-awaited Crimes (Consent) Amendment Bill 2022 to introduce an affirmative model of sexual consent in the ACT. Since tabling the bill I have received an overwhelming amount of support—from stakeholders, from colleagues and from victim/survivors—for which I am grateful and incredibly thankful.

Also on Tuesday, the Prime Minister, as well as Labor leader Anthony Albanese, issued a formal apology in federal parliament to Brittany Higgins and other former political staffers who have experienced sexual assault, harassment and bullying in their parliamentary workplace. The apology was the first action taken by the federal

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