Page 942 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 22 March 2017

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into retirement. Superannuation on unpaid maternity leave is a crucial step in addressing this issue. Gender equity is about much more than pay. Here in Canberra public sector workers make up a third of the population, so addressing gender equity in the APS has to be a priority.

The federal public service has issued a gender equity strategy that looks to increase women’s participation, which is now at more than 50 per cent, but more needs to be done to get women into senior positions. Thanks to the ACT Labor government’s efforts, the gender pay gap in the ACT public service is only 3.6 per cent, and women are flowing into senior positions. Women make up 65 per cent of ACT public service employees, 41 per cent of senior executive positions and the majority of directors-general.

It was fantastic to hear the Minister for Women talk yesterday about the ACT women’s plan and other ways the ACT Labor government is supporting women. The ACT women’s plan focuses on outcomes for women with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women who are culturally and linguistically diverse, older women, women who are single parents and women who are socially isolated. These women contribute to every aspect of life in Canberra and deserve our support.

The safer families program, the women’s information service and use of the ACT grants program are set to deliver on goals defined through consultation. The ACT government continues to seek out and fight gender inequality in all its forms. Great strides towards gender equality have been made in the past few years. Australia’s first female Prime Minister, ACT exclusion zones, sex discrimination laws and paid parental leave have all been hard-fought successes for women. It is encouraging to see the ACT government continuing proactive work towards gender equality, and I look forward to seeing further progress made for ACT women.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Urban Renewal) (6.11): I thank Ms Cheyne for bringing forward this important motion. I want to add my emphatic support to those who have already spoken to the motion today. It very clearly outlines the important contribution made by women and girls and reiterates the government’s support to removing barriers to their full participation and success.

I would like to spend a couple of minutes directing my comments towards the contention in Mrs Jones’s speech that the government does not provide, as a matter of course, portaloo facilities at fire staging areas once a significant fire has been established. The ACT government is always mindful of ensuring the personal comfort of our emergency services staff and volunteers while they are protecting the Canberra community. This is also an important consideration in removing barriers or disincentives to the participation of women in the ESA.

I can advise the Assembly that, contrary to Mrs Jones’s statement, there is already an arrangement in place through the ESA Resource Centre to supply portaloos to the scene of emergency incidents. ACT Fire & Rescue also has three decontamination

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