Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 4296 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
become residents' addresses and should therefore be euphonious, unique and, of course, not too long.
The government, recognising Ms Dundas' point that the commemoration of men far outweighs that of women among Canberra's place names, has drafted a new guideline, which will be included with the existing place names guidelines. It states:
Where a name commemorates a person, consideration is to be given to the equity of male and female representation.
I have tabled the amended ACT place names guidelines. Given the circumstances, it is not appropriate to accept the legislative requirement, which Ms Dundas' bill seeks to do in amending the act.
MR STEFANIAK (7.35): Mr Speaker, the opposition will be supporting Ms Dundas in this matter. I note that she is not doing any quotas and has given the minister discretion in clause 5, which inserts a new section, where he must consider:
(a) the number of women and men after whom divisions or public places have been named in the last 10 years; and
(b) whether the names of women are well-represented.
That does not require a quota or anything like that. Were she to suggest that there be a certain quota and stipulate something definite-some sort of affirmative action-we might well have a problem with it. But we think it is reasonable to consider whether the names of women are well represented.
I am a little amazed that the Labor Party is not supporting this, given Ms Dundas' recent success-which was supported, I thought, by everyone in this Assembly-in renaming some streets in Gungahlin.
What she is proposing here is quite reasonable. She amends the Districts Act. The rest of her bill, which is a short bill, makes the appropriate amendments. But the crucial clause simply requires the minister, by law, to consider the number of both men and women after whom divisions or public places have been named in the last 10 years and whether women are well represented.
That enables the minister to consider, on the merits, whether certain people should have streets named after them. If there is a number of streets which need naming and there are more meritorious men than women, obviously, the minister can name accordingly. Vice versa, if there are more meritorious women than men, the minister can name accordingly. I see Ms Dundas nodding at the point I am making.
The opposition will be supporting this bill. It follows on from some very good work Ms Dundas has already done regarding street names in Gungahlin.
MRS CROSS (7.38): This is a commendable effort by Ms Dundas to address what appears to be a systemic oversight by the Public Place Names Committee.