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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 12 September 2017) . . Page.. 3575 ..

Despite early childhood educators spending anywhere between 18 months and four years studying to qualify for their positions, a childcare worker with the bare minimum of 18 months training earns $42,218 a year, which is just $3 an hour more than the minimum wage. They are under great pressure and we risk losing them from this workforce if nothing changes, because they too have dreams of owning a home and having decent retirement savings, and they will simply move on to another, better paid sector if nothing is done.

In light of this, and it being very close to Equal Pay Day, I am speaking today because of my support for gender equality. I am reminded of UN sustainable development goal No 5, which stipulates that gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but also a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.

Marriage equality

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (4.40): I want to take a moment to put on the record how proud I am of the ACT community in their showing of support for marriage equality in the lead-up to the postal survey. During what is a difficult time, we know the government is doing what it can to support the LGBTIQ community, but in addition to this it is truly buoying to have the broader ACT community come on board in so many symbolic and practical ways. For example, with the generosity of UnionsACT and the CFMEU, households and businesses throughout Belconnen and broader Canberra have been able to show their support for marriage equality loud and clear with rainbow yes posters and corflutes.

That showing of support was extremely clear this past Saturday, 9 September, at a well-loved, progressive institution in my electorate and within my home suburb of the Belconnen town centre, which hosted a huge party in support of marriage equality. No-one will be surprised that this progressive institution is La De Da, led by Aaron Ridley.

The CBR says yes party was held in conjunction with Canberra Music Blog and Mulgara, with 100 per cent of bar profits being donated to the marriage equality campaign. In just a few days they pulled together some of Canberra’s finest artists. I want to put on the record who they were: Anomic, Betty Alto, Bottle Brush, Boots Byers and Jim Dusty, B-tham, Canberra Gay and Lesbian Qwire, Canberra House Social, Defcat, Endrey, First Gulf War, Goodbye Rose, Hopeless Youth, Josh Veneris, Lash, Laura Ingram, Manila Folder, Megan Bones, Nice Up, Northbourne Flats, Pleased to Jive You, Suavess, Tahlia, and Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers.

A highlight for me was the Canberra Gay and Lesbian Qwire’s rendition of Home. I encourage everyone to check this out on their YouTube page. Throughout the performances, rainbow flags flew, and after dark a bright rainbow “yes” was projected onto the side of the building. I think I can speak for everyone in attendance in saying what an extraordinary and moving event it was. It was bright; it was happy; it was united. But it was also very serious and sombre as to the jobs that we have to do over the coming few weeks.

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