Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 17 August 2017) . . Page.. 2950 ..
power to make change within its departments and should be leading by example. The ACT government also needs to resolve issues around women’s safety in the ACT.
I note that this month the Australian Human Rights Commission released the report Change the course: national report on sexual assault and sexual harassment in Australian universities. Here in the ACT we have a number of universities and it is concerning that this report has showed that 1.6 per cent of students were sexually assaulted in a university setting and that 87 per cent of those assaulted did not make a formal report or complaint to the university. It also showed that women are three times as likely as men to have been sexually assaulted in a university setting.
I note the Chief Minister has announced that he will raise this matter with universities and I am keen to hear back on what he proposes. If we want to see women here in the ACT doing as well as they want, Mrs Jones and I strongly suggest a real solution be found to the extraordinarily high number of assaults of young university women in our city.
We also note that the government provided a grant of $25,000 to the Women’s Centre for Health Matters to look at gender and the safe use of public spaces in the ACT. The results are out and show that unfortunately many women do not feel safe in some parts of the ACT. Furthermore, the national survey of community satisfaction with policing shows that only 37½ per cent of ACT women feel safe when they are by themselves, walking or jogging in their neighbourhood at night, and this compares to 77.8 per cent of men.
While it is great that the ACT government has chosen to take action on these issues identified, it must now take action to resolve them. Identification is the first step and the government now needs to follow through. Perhaps there needs to be more consultation with the office for women, which Mrs Jones found out does not get approached by many government directorates and agencies when making policy decisions for women.
We need to find better ways for women to be able to blend the hard work of having a family with having a career. Family should not mean a loss of career for women. We must do what we can in this place to ensure that it is not a loss of a career for women. A lot of young women believe that all the work has already been completed. However, as I have outlined today, there is much more to be done.
We in the Canberra Liberals, along with Mrs Jones, will continue to work and lobby for the women of Canberra to be able to have the family life that they want and the career to earn a good income as well. I hope the ACT government will also work toward these goals.
MR RAMSAY (Ginninderra—Attorney-General, Minister for Regulatory Services, Minister for the Arts and Community Events and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (4.50): I am pleased to speak in support of the appropriation bill, and in particular on the measures in the ACT budget to provide services and programs for our seniors and veterans.