Territory Stories

Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995



Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995

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Parliamentary Record 11


Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Tuesday 23 May 1995 of legislative changes the government has introduced to reflect these. This government recognises that it has a key role to play in addressing issues of concern to women, as it recognises the importance for every government agency to reflect that emphasis. As the key employers and the people who will implement government policy, it is important that each agency recognises the value of its contribution and of the framework it is building for a better society. The Chief Minister saw the plan of action as a blueprint for all government agencies and said they would be required to detail their achievements each year in the Women in the Budget paper. It is a mechanism the government has set up to provide that detail. This years document is the most comprehensive yet, and gives the picture of where agencies are fulfilling the governments commitment. A particular feature of the document is a statistical snapshot of women in the Territory. It is a particularly useful section that outlines such areas as population, education, age and employment. It tells us that women represent 48.3% of the Territorys population as compared to the 50.2% Australian average. The average age of Territory women is 28.2 years as compared to 29 for men. By contrast, Australias average age is 36.1 for women and 25.5 for men. The Territory has the highest birth rate in Australia at 21.1 live births for every 1000 residents, compared with just 14.7 Australia-wide, and 15% of Territory families are sole parent families compared to 12.9% for Australia. There are continuing higher retention rates in secondary schooling for girls than for boys and this is reflected in the total enrolments at NTU this year, where 61.7% are women compared to just 38.8% for men. This snapshot indicates that women are an effective voice in our society and their status is changing to meet the never-ending changes in attitudes of our modem society. The achievements for last year for women have been listed in each of the agencies reports, but more specific funding allocations for 1995-96 are listed also in the budget. In particular: $614 000 has been allocated towards the governments 5-year domestic violence strategy, and I note the first conviction of an offender for stalking occurred recently in Alice Springs. That demonstrated that this strategy is actually working. Strong links are recognised between alcohol and violence, in particular violence against Aboriginal women. 0 The Office of Womens Affairs will be developing a sexual assault policy this year, and the Department of Health and Community Services is finalising a sexual assault services strategy. 0 $lm has been allocated for the continuation of the early detection of breast cancer program. That program is in Darwin at the moment and will go to the other centres later in the year. A 5-year Aboriginal health strategy, designed to make positive inroads into Aboriginal health problems, has been allocated an additional $8.8m, or 6.7% more than in 1994-95. This accounts for almost two-thirds of the total 3563