Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 2 December 2021) . . Page.. 4047 ..
Today we are discussing again the rights of women workers to ensure that their safety is prioritised by their workplace. I encourage all members of the Assembly to sign the letter to Senator Michaelia Cash, the Australian government Minister for Industrial Relations, to make that call to immediately install 10 days of paid domestic and family violence leave. We also call on the Australian government to prioritise all of the actions recommended by delegates of the National Summit on Women’s Safety in their summit statement.
The introduction of paid domestic and family violence leave at the national level will help to ensure that no matter where they are in Australia, victim-survivors have the resources and the time to speak out, seek support and build a happier and healthier life in safety. Workers will be safer both at and outside work if they have access to support to seek safety without risking losing their income. This will also advance the push to ensure that Australian workplaces are built on inclusivity, safety and respect, as they already should be. They should be places where people experiencing domestic and family violence, and sexual violence, can seek and expect to receive support.
This is a really important motion. It is a matter that needs to be taken seriously. I commend the motion to the Assembly.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Attorney-General, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction) (11.24): I am very pleased to rise today, as a co-sponsor of this motion, and join Minister Berry in supporting the need to provide paid domestic and family violence leave which, in the Greens’ view, represents a basic moral responsibility of employers and government to offer. I will keep my remarks short, as I know that a number of my colleagues also want to speak to this motion. Domestic and family violence is a blight on our society. It is incumbent on all of us, especially we legislators, to do everything we can to effectively prevent family violence and support victim-survivors.
It is unequivocally clear that partner violence is a gendered issue, with women substantially more likely to experience it. That said, there is no one universal experience of family violence. It is clear that this is an issue that is significantly impacting our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and requires a response acknowledging and collaborating in that light.
As my colleague Mr Davis will elaborate, it is also an issue of great concern in the LGBTIQ community. We must also recognise that our culturally and linguistically diverse communities experience domestic and family violence and require an approach that recognises and supports their diverse needs.
When it comes to the issue of paid leave, this is one very practical step that we can take to assist those impacted by family violence. Family violence often includes the manipulation and control of finances and making the victim feel like they are trapped in their home. As the Australian Association of Social Workers submitted to the Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment, financial abuse is a significant feature of domestic violence. This often means that parties are in extremely unequal financial circumstances, which increases the vulnerability of family violence