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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 3766 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: Yes, indeed I can give advice on that question and indicate that the government does have a very clear policy, and has had a clear policy for the entire period of its term in office, for the promotion of women onto ACT government boards and committees.

The Australian performance in this area is not particularly good. The national average of women on boards and committees in governments across Australia stands at about 29 per cent. I am pleased to say that the ACT government has achieved a result which is much better than that. In fact, yesterday, in presenting a report on the implementation of the women's action plan, I indicated that 46 per cent of positions on government boards and committees were held by women. I am now advised that the figure is higher than that. It is actually 47 per cent. That is an increase from 40 per cent in the space of only the last couple of years. I am very pleased that that kind of advance has been made in a relatively short period of time.

I note that Mr Stanhope, in launching the women's policy of the Labor Party-almost a contradiction in terms, I would have thought, in the present circumstances-said that they intended to set a target of 50 per cent. That is fine, but they were a long way from it when they were last in office, and I suspect that by the time they reach there the target will be very close to being met, if not well exceeded.

I would hope that if Mr Stanhope succeeds in winning the election in October, as he tells us he will, he will acknowledge the substantial contribution to achieving that target of 50 per cent of women by the previous Carnell and Humphries governments, but somehow I do not think he will.

We have the highest percentage of women appointed to senior positions in the public service, through appointing people not on quotas but on merit. I am very proud of the gains that have been made in recent years in that respect. We continue to promote women actively to ensure that all members of this community have a chance to make a contribution to the quality of life in this city and to the administration of our city at every level.

MRS BURKE: I ask a supplementary question. Chief Minister, in your answer you referred to the government's strong performance in appointing women to senior positions in the ACT public service. I did not catch the figure. Can the Chief Minister advise the Assembly of the percentage of senior public servants who are women?

Mr Quinlan: Strong, intelligent women, like yourself, Jacqui.

Mr Hargreaves: Ha, ha.

MR HUMPHRIES: I see that Mr Hargreaves thinks that is rather amusing. I am not sure why. I do not think it is amusing at all. I think it is very heartening to see how many women have received promotion and are doing a very good job within the ranks of the ACT public service. Currently 36 of the 106 people in the executive are women. That is about 34 per cent. Of officers at senior officer C or equivalent rank, 48.3 per cent are women. That does not include some agencies such as the Legislative Assembly, Actew, ACTTAB and so on, but substantially across the government that is the figure that has been reached. As I have said, these are promotions that have been achieved on the basis

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