Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 18 October 2022) . . Page.. 3185 ..
government will take a whole-of-government approach to collecting gender disaggregated data; and, once again, I got a vague non-committal answer. Call me a cynic, but I will not believe the government is using gender disaggregated data to help inform policy and services until I see some proof of it.
We know that the government has no idea about the differences in how males and females use public transport because they tell me they do not collect gender disaggregated data. This is despite the reality that men and women are quite likely to have different travel habits. For example, we hear that women often have multiple jobs and that they often work part-time hours or have additional caregiving responsibilities, in comparison to men. Unfortunately, that is still the case today. And without collecting this data, we will not be able to provide appropriate services and responses because you do not know what you do not measure. I appreciate the minister’s good intentions in this space, but I believe that there is a lot more that can be done by the government to make Canberra a fairer and better place for women to live in.
MS ORR (Yerrabi) (11.29): I wish to speak to the community services budget as it relates to carers. As I have said before in this place, unpaid carers are often the family, friends or foster carers of people. They are critical to looking after those in our community who need a bit more support than others. Carers are also some of the most selfless people in our community, who work very hard at supporting those who need care, often without considering their own needs. The work of carers is generally unrecognised, and carers are often the last to ask for help—therefore not receiving the support they need to carry out their caring responsibilities or to look after their own wellbeing.
As members will remember, in the December sitting of 2021 the Assembly passed the Carers Recognition Act 2021, which I introduced as a private members bill in the June sitting of 2021. The bill sets out requirements for carer and carer support agencies capturing various ACT public service directorates and other ACT government-funded entities to adhere to a set of carer relationship principles and to include in their annual reports how they are meeting obligations under the act. The intent of the act is to help improve the considerations of the needs of carers, to help them manage their caring responsibilities and so that their own wellbeing is supported.
There is $825,000 included in this budget for social inclusion, implementing the ACT’s carers strategy over the next four years. I understand that the additional $25,000 in the 2022-23 budget is to produce a carers’ respite handbook. Such a handbook would be a useful resource for organisations, individuals and service providers to better inform them of the needs of carers when it comes to rest and recovery. When we think of respite, we think of time away in a different location from our day-to-day reality; respite, however, is not limited to leaving one geographical place for another. Time away can mean taking time to get a coffee uninterrupted, time to go to a go-girl exercise class uninterrupted, time to binge on a bit of television or meet up with friends for dinner. All these things may seem par for the course for people who do not have caring responsibilities; however, for those who do have caring responsibilities these are often the first things that get dropped in the timeframes that inevitably come from looking after yourself and other people.