Page 4881 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 25 October 2011

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a way that would not impact on him should he return to his substantive position in the directorate?

MR CORBELL: Once again Ms Bresnan seeks to cast aspersions on the capability of Mr Neil to act independently. I have full confidence in him. Why else would they ask the question unless they had some doubt about the issue? The fact is, clearly, they do have doubt about the issue. I do not. I have full confidence in Mr Neil. Mr Neil is a very experienced public servant. Mr Neil is a very experienced public official. Mr Neil brings to this role extensive experience and knowledge in the area of environment protection.

Ms Bresnan: On a point of order.

MR CORBELL: There is no need for any further measures in relation to that.

MR SPEAKER: One moment, Mr Corbell. Sit down, thank you, Mr Corbell. Stop the clocks, thank you. Ms Bresnan.

Ms Bresnan: My question was not about the person that Mr Corbell has mentioned, Mr Neil. It was actually about what protections were put in place to protect him or to protect that person in that position should he return to a substantive position in the directorate. It was not casting aspersions on Mr Neil.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you.

Women and girls—status

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Community Services. Minister, could you detail the work this government is undertaking to enhance the status of women and girls in the ACT community?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Porter for her question and her interest in women’s matters. Promoting and enhancing the status of women and girls in the ACT is an important priority for this Labor government. Programs, policies and initiatives to assist us in fulfilling this priority include the inclusion of gender analysis benchmarks in the ACT government directorate reports, including in the ACT public service workplace portfolio of 2009-2010; the inclusion of women’s safety audit pilots at the 2011 Canberra live Australia Day concert and the 2007 Multicultural Festival; and the statement on family violence which sends a clear message that domestic and family violence is a crime and will not be tolerated in the ACT, so we can build a community in the ACT where women and children feel safe because an anti-violence culture exists.

Other measures include the microcredit program, which was launched in March of last year and which enables women entrepreneurs to establish and/or develop their businesses by providing interest-free loans of up to $3,000 to women on low incomes, and the Canberra College cares program which provides a best-practice model for pregnant and parenting students to access education in the ACT. The program has been recognised with the inaugural schools first state impact award for the ACT.

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