Page 383 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 22 March 2022

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Plan to implement the Justice Housing Program. To support accommodation and support services for women, we provided funding of $1.371 million to COVID-19 homelessness programs to extend their operations to 30 June 2023.

Unfortunately, as we know, for many women their most significant concern is safety in their own homes, for themselves and their children. Increased time at home due to the pandemic has also placed some women at higher risk of violence. In the ACT we are committed to working with our colleagues in federal, state and territory governments to continue to coordinate our efforts to improve responses to domestic and family violence.

We continue to implement initiatives under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children and actively contribute to the development of the next national plan. We allocated $35.9 million over four years to expand our evidence-based approach to addressing domestic and family violence. I would like to make special mention of the $1.5 million we committed over four years for our landmark Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program.

In 2021 we saw the continuation of the Family Violence Safety Action Pilot, which has significantly improved the flow of information between police and other agencies in respect to high-risk victims and perpetrators. We invested $2.1 million in a new whole-of-school approach to preventing gender-based violence by creating a culture of gender equality and inclusion. In July 2021 we collaborated with the University of Canberra to host a roundtable on the topic of respectful relationships, sexuality and consent education in ACT schools.

I am very pleased to share that we officially launched the online portal MindMap in October 2021, one of our commitments under Equity Together. MindMap is a dedicated portal for children and young women to help navigate Canberra’s mental health system to find the right services and support.

The Police, Ambulance and Clinical Early Response, PACER, initiative in the ACT has continued to create a safer, more dignified platform for providing emergency mental health intervention, including for women and girls.

I would like to highlight Corrective Services for its release of the Walking with Women on the Pathway to Change Framework, which will incorporate improved gender response and culturally appropriate and trauma aware practices for women in custody or under community supervision.

We updated a further three sportsground pavilions in 2021-22 to provide better amenities for women and girls, taking the total number of sportsground pavilions upgraded in recent years to 28.

I commend the ACT Rural Fire Service, ACT Fire & Rescue, ACT Policing and Transport Canberra and City Services for the steps that they took in 2021 to listen to women within their organisations and provide women with valuable opportunities for leadership and development. I encourage you all to find the full details of the initiatives these agencies have implemented in the tabled statement.

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