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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 25 November 2021) . . Page.. 3729 ..

These perceptions of safety are real, and they really do affect women’s choices about how they get around our city. Men are often afraid that someone will take their money, but women are afraid that someone will take their lives, and it changes their behavioural choices.

So there are some real keys to improvement. I really welcome the ACT government continuing to work with the women’s centre on those bus stop improvements and continuing to work on age-friendly suburbs and improvements to our footpaths. I would like to thank the Ministerial Advisory Council for Ageing and COTA ACT for their ongoing contributions and advice to ACT government on that. I really welcome the ACT government continuing to work with the access committee to make transport systems more accessible and inclusive for everyone; for continuing to work on lighting and active use of spaces. I welcome the government’s work on infrastructure that supports strong connections between active travel and public transport and infrastructure that is accessible and inclusive, like those dedicated cycleways that are separated from cars, and more bike lockers and more end-of-trip facilities.

I really welcome Ms Clay’s suggestions about flexible bus stops after dark. I saw this in action in Brooklyn in March of 2020, and it really did make a difference to the number of women who were using buses after dark to get around the city. With that, I welcome and support Dr Paterson’s motion.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for Skills, Minister for Transport and City Services and Special Minister of State) (3.36): I lend my support to Dr Paterson’s motion and commend her on the great job that she has done in compiling the Her Way report. It is entirely appropriate for an important report like this to be brought forward to an important place like this, the Legislative Assembly, to debate these matters. It is very important that we all have deep consideration of these matters and are able to have the opportunity to debate them in the territory’s parliament.

Her Way is a helpful, positive public policy document that engages with an important conversation about how Canberrans with different needs, routines and priorities can move around our city. The report sheds some important light on the challenges and considerations that south-side women face when it comes to switching from their private vehicles to other transport options.

This is really important, because we know that there is no one-size-fits-all set of transport options that is going to work for all Canberrans. There are some important structural issues that affect women’s transport choices, like: the ongoing disparity in the share of caring and household work undertaken by women; the transport needs of children and the multi-stop journeys that women often take throughout their day; the diverse work patterns that women have outside the home, which do not necessarily reflect the simple 9 to 5 pattern; and the different ways in which women experience safety in public spaces and places, particularly at night and in places with limited traffic. We need to take all these factors into account, along with the individual feedback and experiences of Canberra women, if we are to design a transport network which provides the flexibility and mix of modes of transport that are necessary to meet people’s diverse needs.

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