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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 21 August 2018) . . Page.. 3335 ..


I am pleased, of course, to see added investment in the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre and the Domestic Violence Crisis Service, as unfortunately we are witnessing an ever-increasing demand for their services, both as a result of the focus on family violence that is happening in the ACT, and more broadly across the nation, and as a result of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. These are issues that will not go away any time soon, and we must ensure that appropriate supports are available for those who experience such violence.

I am pleased to see the added investment for the office for women. I know that the office has effectively been under-resourced for many years, and this investment will allow the office to progress gender equality across government. I do hope that some of these funds will be allocated to the item at appendix 3.4 in the parliamentary agreement, which specifies undertaking disability and gender impact analysis as part of the triple bottom line framework and to ensure that all staff are trained to do so.

This is an important aspect of government policy, program and legislature development that could do with strengthening. Gone are the days, unfortunately, of having a specific women’s statement in the budget. Although, positively, I think the word “women” has occurred more often in this budget than in previous years, there has not been any overall gender, disability or poverty impact analysis. There could be significant benefits from undertaking such an analysis, and I will continue to advocate for that.

I am very pleased to acknowledge the positive initiatives in the budget to better protect and support children and young people in our community. While I am the oldest member of the Legislative Assembly, I do remember what it is like to be a young mum and to have young kids. It is important that our children and young people feel valued and included in the community.

While I am disappointed that it is an issue in the ACT, I welcome the funding to review the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people involved with child and youth protection services, and measures such as family group conferencing for families at risk of ongoing involvement with the child protection system.

The young workers advice service is a step towards seeing that young people, our future leaders, are not taken advantage of by unfair and in some cases unlawful employment practices, especially at a time when increasing numbers of young people are juggling work and studies, both secondary and tertiary, to support themselves and provide for their future and ours.

I would like to acknowledge the important work of my colleague Minister Rattenbury on mental health initiatives for young people and the important role that the office for mental health has, as part of the parliamentary agreement, in continuing improvements in access to mental health services in the ACT.

I would also like to highlight a number of recommendations from this year’s estimates report about the needs of young people in the ACT. Recommendations 163 and 164 are about finding appropriate indicators for youth engagement in the budget and more


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