Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 17 August 2017) . . Page.. 2955 ..
There is an opportunity now, as we move to the latter stages of transition, to assess what was provided before and how we can retain those valued services. Community organisations like SHOUT and radio 1RPH have operated very efficiently with relatively small amounts of public money and provide enormous value through many hundreds of hours of volunteer support work. The work that these groups do saves ACT taxpayers significant amounts through proactive, preventative advice, guidance and self-help before having to resort to more costly formal health intervention. This is why the Canberra Liberals will continue to advocate on behalf of these groups, the groups that are in danger of falling through the cracks. We recognise the important role they play in our community and we are at a loss sometimes to understand why the government talks the talk but has failed on a number of occasions to walk the walk.
It is the government that has the responsibility and a moral obligation to look after our vulnerable Canberrans and the local community groups who support them, the groups who have gone above and beyond to focus on what they do best—providing advice, guidance and a safe place, all on the tightest of budgets—only to now sometimes have the rug pulled out from under them, giving them no certainty about their future or the future of thousands of Canberrans who rely on them. The Canberra Liberals will not remain silent on these issues and will continue to support such groups to help themselves and the Canberra community.
MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion, Minister for Disability, Children and Youth, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations) (5.04): I rise to speak about the women’s portfolio, on behalf of the Deputy Chief Minister. As I do so, I would like to both commend Ms Lee on her advocacy for the community and reiterate my offer that she is, of course, welcome to request a briefing at any time on any matter in the portfolio, as she has had before. We have had ongoing conversations about the disability portfolio, which I welcome.
The ACT government is committed to achieving authentic gender equality in the ACT. We have worked hard to make significant gains in this area; for example, in women’s employment, education, participation and representation in sport and recreation, leadership, representation on boards and committees and, of course, addressing the gender pay gap. But gender equality is about more than leadership, education and pay. While these domains are extremely important and we will continue to forge ahead for change, so also is the right to feel safe both in our homes and in public places. Sadly, some evidence suggests that we are going backwards in some areas.
Alarmingly, 25 per cent of young Australians still believe domestic violence can be excused if the offender gets so angry that he loses control or if he regrets it later. And 20 per cent of young Australians still believe women say no when they mean yes. And one in two young men think that tracking a partner electronically without their consent is acceptable to some degree. These findings from the 2013 national community attitudes towards violence against women survey also found that young