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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3624 ..

ACT Women's Action Plan 2000-2001-Final Implementation Report

Paper and statement by minister

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

ACT Women's Action Plan 2000-2001-Final Implementation Report, August 2001.

Mr Speaker, I ask for leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I am pleased to table the ACT Women's action plan 2000-2001: final implementation report. The women's action plan was launched in March 2000 as part of the government's commitment to making a real and measurable difference to the status of women.

The final implementation report highlights the achievements that have been made across government in each of the four themes of the plan, which broadly cover the different aspects of women's lives. These themes are representation and recognition; health and wellbeing; economic independence, continuing education and training; and violence and community safety.

I will now mention some of the tangible improvements for ACT women resulting from the women's action plan. Women's membership of government boards and committees has increased from 40 per cent in June 1998 to 46 per cent in August 2001. I note that comments have been made recently to the effect that the plan to increase women's membership of boards and committees has been dropped or suspended. Of course, that is not the case. As members can see, that target of having women on 50 per cent of boards and committees has been taken seriously, and it is one that has been largely achieved under this government.

Forty-six per cent is the highest percentage of female participation on boards and committees in Australia. The national average is 29 per cent, and the second highest of all states and territories is 33 per cent, in New South Wales and Tasmania.

The lack of non-crisis counselling services for women on low incomes has been met by providing funding for general counselling services for women: $200,000 in 2001-02, $300,000 in 2002-03, $400,000 in 2003-04, and $410,000 in 2004-05.

Many women were unwilling to report sexual assault, because they did not want to be examined by male doctors. The new integrated sexual assault service allows for a guaranteed choice of gender of doctor available for victims, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This service is funded at $300,000 in 2001-02, then indexed over the following three years.

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