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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 3 August 2021) . . Page.. 2211 ..


Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (2.58): Pursuant to standing order 211, I move:

That the Assembly take note of the following paper:

Australian Human Rights Commission—Respect@Work: National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces—ACT Government response.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Early Childhood Development, Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for Women) (2.58): Today the ACT government’s response to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect@Work on the national inquiry into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces has been tabled.

The Respect@Work report provides a clear, evidence-based and survivor-centred approach to responding to workplace sexual harassment. Our response to this report sets out the ACT’s long-term commitment to creating a culture of respectful behaviour across all workplaces in the ACT.

In our response we have provided an overarching position to each of the 55 recommendations made in the Respect@Work report. This will guide our future and ongoing work to understand, prevent and respond to sexual harassment at work, based on the principles of respect, equity, diversity and human rights.

All individuals and workers have a fundamental right to feel safe and protected in their workplace, and in the community. This includes safety from psychosocial hazards. Sexual harassment denies victims this right, and often has profound and destructive impacts for all aspects of their lives.

Distressingly, sexual harassment remains pervasive across workplaces and the broader community, regardless of setting, level, industry or location. In 2018 the Australian Human Rights Commission found that over four in five Australian women and over half of Australian men over the age of 15 had been sexually harassed at some point in their lifetimes. This is a confronting and unacceptable reality. The injustice of this is undeniable. We must show that as a government, and as an ACT community more broadly, we reject sexual harassment in any and all circumstances and are committed to continuing work to promote respectful workplaces, free of sexual harassment.

The ACT government has already taken significant steps to prevent and respond to sexual harassment in workplaces and across the community and to promote equality and respect. Fostering gender equity in Canberra workplaces is a key priority under the second action plan of the ACT women’s plan 2016-26 which I launched in March 2020.

To achieve this, we are providing enhanced support for women, improving opportunities for women in the traditionally male-dominated building and construction industries and promoting programs to improve gender equality in


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