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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 809 ..

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: I take your argument. Mr Moore, I cannot accept your argument. I would wish that you would advise the Assembly and Mrs Burke to get back to the subject. Mrs Burke, you will have to get back to the subject or I will ask you to sit down.

MRS BURKE: I so take that advice, Mr Deputy Speaker.

Mr Moore: I still think you are wrong, but she is going to move on. You do not word a motion this way if you do not want that sort of-

MRS BURKE: That is right. Mr Deputy Speaker, Labor still will not give women a fair go. That is my assertion here in terms-

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Okay. Let us move on from that point, thank you.

MRS BURKE: Mr Deputy Speaker, women make up over half of the ACT's population. My concern is that, given we are talking about International Women's Day and women in crisis, Labor will not give women a fair go. So does the ALP really care about women's issues and do they really support International Women's Day?

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! I am asking you to move on from that point, please.

MRS BURKE: I have finished, thank you.

MR CORBELL (5.29): Mr Deputy Speaker, this is a very important motion. Unlike members opposite, the Labor Party has chosen to move this motion today because we believe it is important to note the significance of the international day of women and it is important to reaffirm our commitment to providing assistance to women in crisis.

This motion has been moved not out of any attempt to score political points. It has not been moved out of any attempt to show up deficiencies on one side or another. I have to say, Mr Deputy Speaker, that I think it is crass in the extreme to use a debate about domestic violence and the importance of providing support for women who suffer domestic violence to simply score points against one's political opponents, which is what Mrs Burke did this afternoon. Really, that is crass, ill judged and reflects the inexperience Mrs Burke has in this place.

International Women's Day is an occasion on which we should reflect on the issues that women still face in the community. I should note that it is unfortunate that members on this side of the Assembly place do not have a woman member amongst our numbers. I am very confident that that is something which will be addressed at the next election. But the purpose of this motion is to note the significance of the day and to talk about women who are facing a crisis, particularly in relation to domestic violence.

I had the opportunity to meet, a little while ago, some of the women who run the Toora Single Wimmin's Shelter. I cannot begin to imagine the sorts of circumstances they are faced with on a daily basis when it comes to supporting women who are escaping from domestic violence. But I can appreciate the dedication they bring to that work and I can also appreciate the importance of supporting that work in an adequate way.

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