Women’s voices at heart of plans to make our cities safer for all

Women and girls are being asked to share their experiences and as part of a $30 million initiative by the Perrottet Government to improve safety on our streets, in parklands and at public transport hubs across NSW.

Treasurer Matt Kean said the Safer Cities Program will put female voices at the forefront of infrastructure design and is part of a wider $100 million investment in women’s safety.

“We want to hear from women and girls about how they feel in our towns, suburbs and cities. As part of the program we’ll also be partnering with 10 local councils to pilot safety-boosting initiatives,” Mr Kean said.

“We’re backing this program with a $30 million commitment that could go towards better lighting, wayfinding, smart technology and landscaping to create safer connections through streets, public spaces and around transport hubs.”

Minister for Cities Rob Stokes said $12.3 million would go towards initiatives including public space precinct improvements around Waitara, Stanmore and Redfern train stations, and in Parramatta Park and The Rocks, where extensive co-design with women and girls is already underway.

“We can only make cities, suburbs and towns better for women and girls by asking about their experiences and what their ideas are to improve the design of public spaces and parklands and transport infrastructure moving forward,” Mr Stokes said.

“That’s why we’ve invited students from Parramatta high schools to a workshop and walking tour around Parramatta Park to give us ideas and help us understand what makes them feel safe or unsafe and how we can invest to improve the experience.”

Minister for Women’s Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said the Government is inviting women across the state to complete a short online survey to better understand their experiences around cities and towns.

“As we continue to design and plan for our growing cities, we need to hear from women to truly understand the experience through their eyes and to ensure the solutions we come up with, work for them,” Mrs Ward said.

“I’m alarmed that a recent survey found most women and girls think twice about walking at night in Sydney, which is why we are acting to ensure everyone has the right to move about their city the way they choose.”

Ten local government areas will also have the opportunity to share up to $10 million in funding through the program.

Canterbury-Bankstown, Bayside, Cumberland, Fairfield, Lismore, Griffith, Blacktown, Wollongong, City of Sydney and Central Coast councils are eligible to sign up for pilot initiatives to help our cities and towns feel safer.

The Program will set a best practice framework for public space interventions for women, girls and gender diverse people’s safety. A public education campaign focused on safety and reducing harassment will complement the infrastructure improvements to help educate and change behaviour.

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