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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1083 ..

study in December 2015, but the government’s response was not released until June 2019. A major project outcome was Gungahlin being identified through consultation with Capital Football as its preferred location for a dedicated football facility. The ACT government has commissioned $20 million towards the Home of Football. Preliminary planning and design work for this facility was scheduled to commence in late 2019. Minister, what progress, if any, has been made on this project and when will the actual construction phase be commenced?

MS BERRY: That work is continuing. Due diligence work is continuing on the site to ensure that the plans for the Home of Football in Throsby can be delivered and delivered in a way that the community has expectations for, particularly given the work that the ACT government has done in partnership with Capital Football in ensuring that the Home of Football meets the needs of the football community.

MR MILLIGAN: Minister, what is the reason for the delay in progressing this vital piece of sporting infrastructure?

MS BERRY: There is no delay.

MS CASTLEY: Will this facility be open for general public use?

MS BERRY: Yes, it will.

Domestic and family violence—COVID-19

DR PATERSON: My question is to the Minister for Women. Minister, how has COVID-19 impacted women in the ACT community?

MS BERRY: COVID-19 has led to an increase in particularly the complexity but also the number of people who have been seeking supports around domestic and family violence. The Australian Institute of Criminology, which in May 2020 surveyed 15,000 women, found that for more than half who experienced ongoing violence, the violence increased in frequency and severity compared to the six months before. We certainly saw that that was the case in the ACT from reports back from the support services sector and from our hospital systems. The report also found that a third of women experiencing violence since February said that it was the first time that their partner had been violent towards them.

Canberra’s domestic and family violence services have committed to continue with their supports for those experiencing violence and interventions. And because sexual assault can be linked to the same harmful gender norms that cause domestic and family violence—and it does occur in intimate partner relationships—sexual assaults have presented their own unique challenges that need to be better understood and investigated, especially in light of the increases in domestic and family violence seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 impacted women particularly with regard to more violent and more complex matters of domestic and family violence and sexual assaults than we have ever seen before.

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