A bill to provide free period products in ACT public places including libraries, community facilities and government shop fronts has been introduced in the territory's Legislative Assembly.
The bill from Labor backbencher Suzanne Orr will also seek to address access issues to women's bathrooms in traditionally male-dominated industries.
The ACT would be the first jurisdiction to implement laws with debate on the bill expected to occur early next year.
Ms Orr first proposed the legislation last year when she released an exposure draft bill for consultation. Following feedback, the bill has been expanded to include mandatory access to toilets and hygiene facilities in ACT public service sites and territory-funded worksites.
"It has been clear from the start that it was fundamental that this legislation not only addressed access to period products but put in place principals to ensure workers had access to bathroom and hygiene facilities while at their workplace," she said.
"Having access to period products is impractical if a person does not have access to the facilities to be able to privately and hygienically use these products."
MORE A.C.T. POLITICS NEWS:
The bill is aimed at tackling period poverty in the ACT.
A survey from Share the Dignity found that 15 per cent of respondents in the ACT had struggled to afford period products at some point in their life.
"Period poverty can present real and devastating problems for those experiencing it," Ms Orr said.
"Those who don't have access to period products are often left to improvise in any way they can. It can involve using household items like newspapers, paper towels or toilet paper.
"It can lead to infection, through contaminants on those improvised items or leaking and other accidents due to those items not being fit for purpose."
Scotland was the first nation in the world to make period products free in 2020 with products available at designated public places, such as community centres and pharmacies.
Ms Orr said the bill was influenced by Scotland's legislation.
We've made it a whole lot easier for you to have your say. Our new comment platform requires only one log-in to access articles and to join the discussion on The Canberra Times website. Find out how to register so you can enjoy civil, friendly and engaging discussions. See our moderation policy here.