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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 25 November 2021) . . Page.. 3732 ..

I again thank Dr Paterson for her report and recommendations, which will continue to be considered by government as we undertake that task.

DR PATERSON (Murrumbidgee) (3.45): I welcome members’ support for the Her Way report and thank them for it. It is important to recognise that today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This global campaign recognises that violence in our community is gender based—that women are most often the target of violence and harassment in our community. This fact has significant implications for the choices women make in engaging with public transport and active travel.

The Her Way report showed that personal safety heavily influenced women’s decisions around public transport and active travel. That is why it was very important that we focused on women in this report. Women and girls form 50 per cent of the population. That is 215,000 people in the ACT. It is critical that 50 per cent of the population feel safe and that we do all we can to ensure that.

As other members pointed out, women often bear the brunt of household labour and caring. However, this does not mean that women should be counted out of this conversation. That is exactly why I have targeted women. I do not understand why Ms Lawder has such a problem with me talking to women about this issue. I find it quite disturbing that Ms Lawder is the shadow minister for women and holds these views. I am seeking to amplify women’s voices, to show the barriers and constraints. It is simply not good enough to say that, because women are busy with household responsibilities, we count them out of this conversation.

Through the Her Way campaign, I intended to give women in my electorate a voice, to let them know I am listening. I commend Minister Steel for being 100 per cent supportive of this campaign and this report from start to finish. He is a brave minister who is not afraid of genuine feedback and who has a genuine desire to improve public transport and active travel in the ACT and position us as a leader in Australia.

Mr Parton spoke of some of the barriers to engagement expressed by participants in this report. I am proud that I have been transparent with the findings of this report. I asked women to give their time to provide this feedback, and I am proud to table their voices in the Assembly. I am proud to be part of a government that is open to how we engage with these barriers, because it is the only way to overcome them.

Mr Parton’s amendment is very disappointing. As the shadow minister for transport, is this the best he can come up with? With a straight face, Mr Parton, I reject your amendment.

This motion is about how we can improve people’s lives in ways that ultimately lead to better social, environmental and economic outcomes. Walking and riding bikes in our suburbs and town centres are about much more than just a mode of transport and a means to an end. They are also about the interactions that we have along the way; the type of city we want to live in; the lifestyle and the quality of life we want to lead; the vitality and amenity of our neighbourhoods; improving individual physical, mental health and wellbeing outcomes; and protecting our environment.

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