I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for the Status of Women on the subject of the South Australian Women's Honour Roll.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: Honourable members may be aware that the Women's Honour Roll was an initiative in 2008 by the then minister, the Hon. Jennifer Rankine, who launched the program. This program was inherited by the current minister, and I quote from a publication in which she was quoted in 2009 where she said:
The Women's Honour Roll was established in 2008 and I am very pleased that in 2009 over 250 S. Australia and women have been nominated...
She went on to say:
It is vital that we find ways to recognise and celebrate the achievements of women who contribute so much to our community.
I must state that this is something that would have multipartisan support. In the years 2008 and 2009 there were at least two media releases issued advertising the program and, try as we might, my office has searched for any information in relation to this important program for 2010. My questions to the minister are:
1. How much did it cost to run the women's honour roll program in 2008 and 2009?
2. Can the minister advise me if there is someplace we can look because thus far we have searched fruitlessly for information on the program for this calendar year?
3. Finally, if it is not available, why has this important program been scrapped?
The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for State/Local Government Relations, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Government Enterprises, Minister for the City of Adelaide) (14:49): Indeed, the women's honour roll in South Australia has been a very important initiative put forward by the Rann Labor government. It was put forward as a means of recognising ordinary South Australian women who contribute enormously to our community and our society and who very often go unrecognised. We know that women are notoriously bad at pushing themselves forward and banging their own drums, so we established this roll to acknowledge the important contribution of many women.
We ran the honour roll for two years in a row (2008 and 2009) and received an overwhelming response and very good feedback as well. This year we have decided to look at revamping the honour roll somewhat. We believe that opening it up initially to 100 people to go onto the honour roll each time was a very good way of establishing and promoting the honour roll and to get it going. We believe we have done that and done that very successfully.
One of the things which I have been very keen to do is to try to also increase the number of female nominations being put forward for the Australia Day awards. We know that significantly fewer women are successful in winning those awards and significantly fewer women are being put forward as nominees for those awards. We have been looking at ways to establish stronger links between the women who are being put forward on the honour roll and the Australia Day awards system. We have done quite a bit of work at establishing those links.
I have also been successful in asking our Governor to conduct either a morning tea or an afternoon tea for our honour roll recipients. Again, that was a wonderful event last year and the recipients enjoyed it immensely, and it gave a certain level of prestige to the event as well. I am very grateful to the Governor and his wife for hosting that very wonderful event. The honour roll scheme has not been scrapped. It will be conducted in 2011. It is likely that, from then on, it will become a biennial event.
As I said, we are looking to revamp the thing slightly to make better connections with the Australia Day awards system and to ensure that we also maintain an air of prestige around the event to ensure that it becomes a very special event every two years. In terms of the cost, I do not have those figures with me. I am more than happy to get the costings and bring them back to the chamber. It would be a very modest sum, however. It is not a very costly event. I can assure you that it is quite modest, but I am happy to bring those details back.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:53): As a supplementary question, given that we are more than nine months into the current calendar year, when is the government planning to tell people that the program has been scrapped for this year?
The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for State/Local Government Relations, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Government Enterprises, Minister for the City of Adelaide) (14:54): Work is being done on the revamping of this event and when that has been completed we will make it available publicly.
(Answered 21 June 2011)
In reply to the Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14 September 2010).
The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Public Sector Management, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Government Enterprises, Minister for Gambling): I am advised:
The 2008 South Australian Women's Honour Roll was implemented by the previous Minister for the Status of Women and the cost came to $21,736.
As current Minister for the Status of Women I was responsible for further developing the South Australian Women's Honour Roll in 2009. The cost was $11,695. The Office for Women plays an invaluable role in organising, administering and promoting the Honour Roll. These staff hours are not captured in this costing.