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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2010) . . Page.. 2388 ..

Leave granted.

MS LE COUTEUR: I table the following papers:

Reportable contracts—Agencies reporting reportable contracts for period 1 October 2009 to 31 March 2010—Table.

Executive business—precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on.

Public service—pay equity

Statement by minister

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Women), by leave: The government undertook to report to the Assembly in the May sitting period on the measures required to conduct a pay equity audit of the ACT public service. This came about in relation to a motion put on the board by Ms Hunter in the February sitting about gender pay equity. I provided advice to Ms Hunter and tabled my letter to her in the Assembly on 6 May 2010 and I am now in a position to report back on the measures that the government will take to progress gender pay equity.

In February Ms Hunter advocated for the government to take the lead in identifying the reasons for men being paid more than women in the ACT public service. I would like to commend Ms Hunter for her strong interest and her advocacy on behalf of the women in the ACT.

It needs to be noted that this is in stark contrast to the statements made by the so-called shadow minister for women, Mrs Dunne, when this matter was raised before the Assembly. Mrs Dunne described the motion as “a series of motherhood statements”, “a mishmash of different subject materials”, a “lazy sort of motion” and the poorest women’s motion that she has seen. And Mrs Dunne’s bizarre rant did not end there. One of her stand-up quotes was:

… women have somewhat of a luxury about whether they are in the workforce or not …

But Mrs Dunne’s out-of-touch thinking when it comes to women unfortunately does not end there. Mrs Dunne chooses to use her position as shadow minister for women to continue to offer demeaning and ill-informed comments. Some of Mrs Dunne’s more recent statements appear to put blame on young women for being sexually assaulted. In a story titled “Women’s conduct factor in violence: MLA” on the University of Canberra student news site NowUC, Mrs Dunne blames young women who become intoxicated for subsequent offences committed against them. Mrs Dunne is quoted as saying that a contributing factor in violence against women was young women who are not used to—

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