Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 12 October 2022) . . Page.. 2959 ..
providing gender-specific and gender-diverse swim times, by working with all relevant stakeholders. It is through the provision of gender-specific and gender-diverse times that people can feel confident and safe in order to be able to learn or practise how to swim. We also need to work with the relevant stakeholder groups to ensure that whatever program is developed is suitable for those groups. We should continue to work with operators to establish a further trial of gender-specific swim times at a suitable pool. This may be within an ACT government pool or it may be via a private pool operator. We will need to work with them to be able to come up with a viable program that allows those who, for whatever reasons, are looking for a safe and secure place in which to swim.
I am also calling on the government to ensure that public pools clearly communicate that all are welcome and that their complaint and reporting mechanisms are clear, supportive and accessible, should any issues arise. This was drawn from feedback from stakeholders who wanted to make very clear that they do not wish to be excluded due to actions from other users of pool precincts, just because they may not fit into the definitions of what a gender should be.
Finally, I am calling on the government to commit to ensuring that future ACT government swimming infrastructure is designed in an inclusive manner. Most of the swimming pool complexes that we have here in the ACT are of a large, open nature that currently preclude the creation of private spaces. So I am calling on the government, as part of the design for any future pool complexes, to see if we can, within the ACT, have at least one facility that does provide a private area for use. I commend this motion to the Assembly.
MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (3.22): I wish to thank Mr Braddock for bringing this important motion to the Assembly. I am aware that many Canberra pools have a range of programs designed to cater for the needs of community members, particularly learn-to-swim programs. I expect that they would be approached to consider scheduling arrangements for specific groups if the demand is identified. I remember that several years ago a solution was found for Muslim women seeking segregated pool facilities, when a private school offered access to its pool facility.
We support the availability of facilities for all groups to encourage greater participation in sport and exercise programs, and we welcome the introduction of programs to achieve these outcomes. Other immediate concerns include the provision of more changing facilities for women and girls, to encourage greater participation and engagement; major capital works to provide a dive pool for the Canberra community; and the construction of one or more hydrotherapy pools to contribute to improved health and lifestyle outcomes for those community members requiring such facilities. Hydrotherapy pools play a vital part in assisting people with health and mobility issues and in improving the quality of their lives, as well as reducing the need for other health and medical services.
I believe that the scheduling issues raised in this motion should be addressed by consultation with the various pool facility operators. With respect to extensive capital works expenditures on new facilities, it tends to take many years for feasibility studies, preliminary designs and community consultations. At times there may be a moving feast in terms of budget allocations, but I think it is a good step, going forward, to