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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2010) . . Page.. 2389 ..

Mrs Dunne: I knew you would do this, Joy, but you did not have the courage to actually give me a copy of the statement you were going to deliver.

MS BURCH: I will start again. Mrs Dunne is quoted as saying—

Mrs Dunne: You are a disgrace. You are a coward.

MS BURCH: You are the disgrace. You are the disgrace, and I will say why you are. Mrs Dunne is quoted as saying that a contributing factor in violence against women was “young women who are not used to drinking alcohol who overindulge and lose judgement and lose control”. It is an outright insult to blame young women who are victims of sexual assault—an absolute outright insult for the shadow minister for women to make such statements. This is the kind of nonsense that reveals Mrs Dunne’s true nature when it comes to women’s rights. There we are: women have a luxury—a luxury to be in the workforce.

Mrs Dunne: You tried to get that story up last week, Joy, and no-one would touch it, so you had to bring it in here. You had to bring it in here.

MS BURCH: Yes, I did. I did indeed.

Mrs Dunne: You tried to get the story up last week and no-one would touch it.

Mr Corbell: Point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Mrs Dunne is continually harassing Ms Burch and trying to make a statement. The Assembly has given her leave to make the statement. I ask you to ask Mrs Dunne to allow Ms Burch to make that statement.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Corbell. Mrs Dunne, could you allow Ms Burch to complete her statement, please?

MS BURCH: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. While Mrs Dunne is off in her own little world, the members of this Assembly who do actually care about a fair go for women, members like Ms Hunter and myself, are actually getting on the job and looking at issues—important issues, issues that are of national importance, such as pay equity.

I am proud to announce that this government will commit to identifying the reasons why women in the ACT public service are paid less than men. We will do this in stages by examining and reporting on data at a whole-of-government level, by individual agencies and by classification groups. By taking this approach we will be able to identify where the gender equity issues may be and whether the issues lie in more than one agency or in a particular classification group.

This announcement is particularly timely in light of the comments made just yesterday by the federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, who told the National Press Club that governments in Australia need to do more to reduce the gender pay equity gap, which is nationally at 17 per cent, placing Australia at No 20 in the 2009 World Economic Forum’s global gender equality report. I stand here to say that this government is actually doing something about it.

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