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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1084 ..

DR PATERSON: Minister, what initiatives does the government have in place to support women during the pandemic?

MS BERRY: There was significant targeted support for low income households as part of the ACT’s $137 million stage 1 economic survival package. There was $3 million in funding for the specialist homelessness and domestic and family violence sectors as well as an additional $7 million for non-government organisation partners to meet increased service demand for emergency relief as part of the community support package.

With the national conversation around sexual violence and assault and how pervasive they are across our country and our community here in the ACT, I also announced a new Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Working Group to coordinate the community, the sector, unions and relevant stakeholders on responses to sexual assaults in the ACT. I was particularly heartened by the support and cooperation from all the political parties in the ACT Assembly for this important work.

MS ORR: Minister, what will be the priorities of the newly announced Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Working Group?

MS BERRY: It has been a momentous time over the last couple of months, with sexual assaults being the primary focus of conversations across our country and how pervasive sexual assault and violence have become. I have been having conversations with and listening to support service organisations—including the Victims of Crime Commissioner Heidi Yates AM, associate professor; a senior specialist in sexual health and forensic medicine, Vanita Parekh AM; the CEO of Women’s Health Matters, Marcia Williams; and the CEO of the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, Chrystina Stanford—to understand what needs to happen with regard to a sexual assault reform program in the ACT.

It was clear from my conversations with them that they are calling for a different approach for change. This working group will be inclusive, and it will be intersectional. It will set out pathways forward to give confidence to our— (Time expired.)

Ms Berry: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Supplementary answer to question without notice


MS CHEYNE: Yesterday I was discussing the Amp It Up! fund. On reading and reviewing the Hansard transcript of question time, the way I phrased a portion of how that fund operates was a bit odd. To remove all doubt, the grants with Amp It Up! can be used for up to 100 per cent of costs associated with engaging artists and technicians and up to 50 per cent of marketing costs.

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