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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 March 2021) . . Page.. 563 ..


appropriate clothing to wear on mufti day at school—for the girls, appropriate clothing to wear on mufti day at school—because it was distracting for the boys if certain types of clothing were worn. I am proud to say that my granddaughter wrote back, pointing out that it may be better to teach the boys not to be distracted rather than body shaming the girls about what they may or may not wear.

There is a lot to celebrate, and I acknowledge the minister’s genuine interest in and dedication to improving the lives of women in the ACT, but there are many things that we can do better. We are doing a lot of talking, but we must action what we are talking about, not hide reports that might reflect badly on the government. For example, we need to use that feedback and the data to make very real improvements that will benefit women in the ACT so that in another 10, 20, 30 or 40 years we do not look back and lament, yet again, how far we still have to go to ensure the safety of women at home, at work and in our streets.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Attorney-General, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction) (10.47): I would like to acknowledge the update that Minister Berry has provided to the chamber this morning. I particularly wanted to rise, briefly, in my capacity as the Attorney-General and on behalf of the Greens, to focus on the announcement of the roundtable that Minister Berry spoke about to look at matters of sexual assault in our community. This is obviously a welcome announcement and one that we will look forward to working with Minister Berry on in order to progress important reforms in this area. The experience of victim survivors is vital in identifying the right reforms, which is why I think working with stakeholders and their representatives and bringing forward the voices of people who have had these experiences is very important.

There is a real opportunity to think carefully about how we progress reform in the ACT. I think so often the focus is on legal reform. As Minister Berry touched on in her remarks, this cannot solely be the response. In my capacity, I am very aware that there will need to be some responses in that space. We will work diligently and in a timely manner with stakeholders to listen to as many voices as we can. But to be very clear, that is not the only response that we need to make; there will be a range of service responses and other considerations that need to be taken into account.

I am also mindful that so often the legal responses focus on matters after somebody has been assaulted. There is an opportunity, through the work that Minister Berry has identified, to think about how we operate more in the preventative space. I think there are some legal responses in that space as well but, again, a lot of the preventative work is more about culture and redefining the standards. As Ms Lawder has just remarked, it is incumbent upon all of us in the community to play a part in that, and particularly for men to take responsibility and challenge their fellow men on some of the cultural behaviours that we see in our community. That is something that needs to happen consistently. It happens in all sorts of fora and all sorts of places. If jokes are made or there are derogatory comments, it is really about having the courage to challenge people to recalibrate, to think differently and to take a different approach.

The working group that Minister Berry has identified I think provides a real opportunity to have a genuinely collaborative relationship between the community,


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