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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (8 August) . . Page.. 2541 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

If you pursue this debate philosophically, you can get some real measure of the extent to which we do not value the work of women or work outside the remunerated work force by looking each year at the Australian honours list. There is one so-called objective measure of how we as a community value our citizens. Take a look at the Australian honours list every year. Take a look at the number of people who biannually receive honours. Take a look at the sort of work that we as a nation applaud, recognise, embrace and acknowledge. Every year since the year dot, since the inception of those awards, less than 30 per cent of those awards have gone to women.

We can draw some analogies from that. We can use these figures to analyse what it is that we value. As a community, we do not value what we do not pay for. To the extent that we find on any analysis of the figures in relation to unpaid work that 65 per cent or thereabouts of all unpaid work is done by women, we have an interesting correlation there with that objective biannual statement of what it is that we as a community value. We certainly do not, through our awards and honours system, value the role and contribution of women to society. I think there is a correlation there. If one looks at those awards and then looks at the sorts of things which we, through that form of acknowledgment of what roles and responsibilities we as a nation applaud, one will find that it is not the unpaid work of women within our community, despite the fact, as I say, that in value it is equal to the entire national GDP and it is not measured. I think that is at the heart of the debate we are having. It is a debate about the need for us to concentrate on how we as a community and how we as politicians continue to recognise, acknowledge and mark the role of women, in particular, within our community.

I am acknowledging in all of my comments that there is a significant level of unpaid work performed by men, and I do not wish to devalue that at all. But the unpaid work about which we are talking here is unpaid work which is predominantly done by women and historically, traditionally, issues around unpaid work, the definitions of work and notions of work impact so much more severely on women than they do on men. But I acknowledge and do not downgrade or denigrate the significant role which a significant number of men also play in the unpaid work force, both at home in the domestic sense and in relation to volunteer and community work. This motion is very important and should be taken seriously and we should take the lessons that need to be taken from any consideration of notions around unpaid work.

MS TUCKER (11.32): Before I start, I will move the amendment to this motion that has been circulated in my name. I move:

Paragraph (4), omit the words after "collected", substitute "in five yearly time use surveys which may include data gathered in each census.".

I am seeking to change paragraph (4) of Mr Wood's motion, which relates to advising the federal government of the ACT's request for relative data to be collected, by adding the words "in five yearly time use surveys which may include data gathered in each census" to be more specific about what the Assembly actually wants to occur. As some members have already articulated and agreed, there is great importance in understanding what is happening in this area of volunteer work and the time use surveys will enable policy makers to have such an understanding, which is critical if policy making is to be informed by the realities of life for people in this country. We would like to see policy

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