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 lock-up where juveniles were kept for an unacceptable length of time. We do not have a facility in Alice Springs for juvenile offenders. Is the government planning to have a one-stop shop for all offenders in the future? It looks rather like it - one in Alice Springs and one in Darwin. I do not believe that will do much for the rehabilitation of young offenders which presumably is what we are really aiming for. Turning to women in the budget, we have another budget paper relating to women this year. It is disappointing in that it is not a patch on the Women in the Budget paper distributed last year. Some departments are becoming a little coy about giving their forward projections for the next year whereas, in the last womens budget paper, 1993-94 and 1994-95 figures were specified. In the main, all we see this year is an account of what has occurred in the last financial year. There are not many departments that have the courage of their convictions and tell us what specific programs they intend. It would have been an ideal opportunity for them to tell Territorians about programs specifically for women and about areas relating to women in the budget. It is not happening. There is not much point in having a document like this if it tells only half the story. We might as well have a report at the end of the year rather than something that projects into the new year in terms of what the government is planning and how that compares with the effort in the previous year. Having said that, I certainly endorse the comments of the Chief Minister about domestic violence and the effort that the government is making in that regard. The member for Nelson asked why the situation has not yet been fixed. If only it were that easy. Certainly, I look forward to the day when we will not need domestic violence units, womens refuges etc. However, that day is not yet upon us. Perhaps the reason is that women still have not reached equality with men in terms of economic power. The glass ceiling is still firmly in place in the Northern Territoiy Public Service and it is thicker in some spots than in others. Each department provides details of staffing levels and numbers by gender. In the Department of the Chief Minister, for example, there are 25 positions at EOl and above, only one of which is occupied by a woman. In Treasury, there are 11 positions at E02 and above, not one of which is occupied by a woman. The Tourist Commission has 10 positions at EOl and above, none of which is occupied by a woman. The Conservation Commission has 12 positions at A08 and above, none occupied by women. Industries and Development has 12 positions at EOl and above and one is occupied by a woman. Lands and Housing has 11 positions at EOl and above and one is occupied by a woman. The Police Department has, at commander level and above, 17 men and 1 woman. The Department of Education has 12 positions at EOl and above and one is occupied by a woman, and that is in a department where women outnumber men overall by almost 3 to 1. Mines and Energy has 21 staff at A07 level and above, and one position is held by a woman. More disappointing than most is the Department of Sport and Recreation. During this year and last, the Minister for Sport and Recreation had much to say about girls in sport and how they elevated their position in Territory society through their sports achievements. Certainly, the WISAR event has been a great success and I hope there will be more of them. However, if we are looking for balance between men and women, we certainly cannot look at this department as an example. Of 20 positions at A05 and above, only one is held by a woman, and that is at the lowest level in that range. Of the remaining 25 positions, at A 04 and 3478