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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 March 2021) . . Page.. 639 ..


In my statement this morning I provided a whole lot of phone numbers and details of support services for people to access if they feel they need it. I am happy also to talk to people if they feel like they need an ear. I am happy to provide an ear for people to talk to about the circumstances they have been through. A lot of distressing stories have been told this morning and I want to acknowledge that. We have talked about how important it is to share those stories and to be advocates for people who share those stories, and to believe that they are real experiences and that we still have a significant way to go before we have a gender-equal society that recognises that sexual harassment is completely unacceptable.

The work we do in our workplaces through the recommendations Ms Orr has put forward in this motion, in responding to the respect at work national inquiry into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces, is long overdue but it is also timely, with the conversations that have been held nationally and the experiences that have been shared by individuals in our community around sexual harassment and assaults in our workplaces.

It was not that long ago that we became aware of a certain construction workplace that used topless barmaids at a celebration for the end of a build. The community was horrified that that behaviour happened in our community on our doorsteps, yet here we are still having a conversation—frustratingly, as Ms Lawder rightly points out—around what is appropriate in our community and respect for women at work and more generally.

What I have heard from everybody today is a commitment to work together and a personal commitment from individuals here to do better—to listen to victims and survivors and participate in real action to make a difference for women and girls in our communities and our workplaces, because every person deserves to have a safe and healthy workplace.

Many stories have been shared today, and I reiterate my support for people whose feelings may have been triggered by the personal experiences that have been shared. I ask them to get the support that I referred to in my earlier speech. I am also happy to be an ear, if they need that. I commend Ms Orr for bringing the motion to the Assembly; it is a really important conversation to be held in this place today.

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (4.40), in reply: I thank everyone for the debate we have had today and the overwhelming support for these changes, which I hope bring about the systemic cultural change we want to see.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Plastic Reduction Bill 2020

Debate resumed from 2 December 2020, on motion by Mr Steel:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.


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