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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 May 2021) . . Page.. 1270 ..


they are included meaningfully and that my commitment to ensuring that they are included is not words, as she has referred to before, but is real.

MS LAWDER: Minister, why did you invite Liberal members to be included in that group if you were not going to allow them to speak?

MS BERRY: Again, it was about hearing from ministers who had areas of responsibility with regard to our response to sexual assaults here in the ACT. The intention was not to have a feeling that the Canberra Liberals were excluded. In fact, when I spoke to the services about the first meeting, they were so happy to see that all political parties in the Assembly were present. That has definitely been the very clear message that I have heard from them: that they want all political parties to be part of this approach. Inviting the Canberra Liberals to be part of that meeting by attending it and then being included in the media response following that meeting was an important way for the sector to understand and to hear very clearly that I was committed and the government was committed to a tripartisan approach to this.

MRS KIKKERT: Given that ministers were asked to summarise broadly why sexual assault is relevant to their portfolio, their commitment to doing better by victim survivors and their commitment to supporting the work of working groups, would it not have been in the interests of tripartisanship to hear from all three parties?

MS BERRY: Again, it was because it was ministers of the government that were providing advice on areas of government that do this work across the sexual assault spectrum. I am sorry that members of the opposition feel like they were not included at the start of this process, but I make the commitment again that my intention is for this to be a tripartisan approach. At the end of the day, it is Labor and Greens members who are in government, so those ministers’ portfolios are the ones that will have an influence on the responses. We definitely want the Canberra Liberals to be part of this work, to be part of the conversations with our community and in other ways they might find useful for them to be able to represent people in their community.

Government—Ministerial Advisory Council on Women

MS CASTLEY: My question is to the Minister for Women. Minister, in the week of 8 February this year, cabinet approved new appointments to your Ministerial Advisory Council on Women. The Canberra Liberals recently gave notice of a motion to establish a small business ministerial advisory council, to give small business the same high-level government access that women enjoy, but the government opposed it. Minister Cheyne said that such a council for business would be time consuming and a burden. Minister, who are the new appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Council on Women, how were they chosen and what is the process for nominating women?

MS BERRY: The Ministerial Advisory Council on Women has a process whereby women nominate to be included on the ministerial advisory council; then there is an independent process involving representatives of the ministerial advisory council, the Office for Women and others to consider those nominations and whether they are diverse, whether they represent different parts of the community, like Aboriginals and


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