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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (20 November) . . Page.. 3782 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

achievements ahead of female achievements because of their preconceptions that any women taking part in history were assumed to have been in a lowly supporting role. We know that this is not the case.

Throughout history women have provided an outstanding contribution to all fields of endeavour. We need to consider broadening the fields of endeavour deemed worthy of recognition so that we are not focusing just on the areas in which males have dominated over history. If we did this, then even more female candidates could be identified as worthy of recognition in our place names.

Following my initial disallowance motion for the Gungahlin street names, the minister directed the public place names committee to focus more on achieving gender balance in place naming. I have been informed the committee is to take on a new research officer charged with this task. I hope that they will be able to go back to primary sources to help identify the women who so far have been left out of our history.

I commend the minister for taking action to tackle this problem, but I do not want the gender balance in place naming to be left up to the personal commitment of the minister of the day. We may in future have a minister who is not so concerned with achieving equal rights and recognition for both men and women. I hope that does not occur, but it is a possibility.

This bill makes sure that gender balance will always be considered when streets and places are named.

Some may argue that if we are going to have special consideration of women then we need special consideration of other groups in our society. I have thought about this but found that there is already representation of many of the cultural groups that have contributed to Australia's and Canberra's history. It appears that only women are left out. Women come from every cultural background, so I do not think that recognising them is a slight to any group in our community.

I was very pleased that the Assembly unanimously supported the motion presented last week to amend four street names in Gungahlin. I hope that the Assembly will unanimously support this new law, which would prevent the need for future amendments to disallowable instruments naming places in the ACT. ACT women and men of the future will thank us for helping to build a society founded on equality.

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Litter Amendment Bill 2002

Ms Tucker , pursuant to notice, presented the bill.

Title read by Clerk.

MS TUCKER (10.39): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

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