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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3130..

Refugee display

(Question No 245)

Mr Cornwell asked the Minister for Urban Services, upon notice:

In relation to the recently moved "refugee" display at the Tuggeranong Library:

(1) Who were the proponents of the display and who authorised it.

(2) What did the display depict and if it contained any words, what were all those words.

(3) Did the display advocate any action to be taken by viewers.

(4) In how many other libraries was this display shown and for how long.

(5) Were opponents of the position advocated by the display invited to contribute to the exhibition, and if not, why not.

(6) What involvement did ACT schools have in the preparation of the display and were they invited to prepare an alternative display for the exhibition; if not, why not.

(7) Who provided information on the refugee issue to the school children who produced material for the display; are curriculum notes/reports available from those information sessions, and if not, why not; can I be provided with these notes/reports.

(8) Will the government consider giving both sides of the argument in such displays in future in public facilities.

Mr Wood: The answer to the member's questions is as follows:

(1) The display was organised by ACT Australians for Refugees, and was co-ordinated by Ms. Claire Bruhns from that organisation. ACT Public Library (ACTUAL) Branch Managers at Belconnen, Dickson, Tuggeranong and Woden Libraries accepted bookings for the display in accordance with established procedures.

(2) The display highlighted issues concerning mandatory detention, particularly the effect of long periods of detention on children. It contained numerous photocopies of articles from major Australian newspapers, including the Canberra Times, pamphlets, posters and banners.

(3) No. The display did not advocate any action be taken by viewers.

(4) The display was first shown in Belconnen Library, 1-30 June 2002, Dickson Library 10-23 June, and was planned to be shown in Tuggeranong Library from 1-30 August. The display was removed from Tuggeranong Library on 9 August. It did not rotate to Woden Library where it was planned to be shown in September.

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