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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 15 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 4818..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

authority not have any internal audit capability as at the end of the 2004-05 financial year?

MR HARGREAVES: I think it does.

MR SMYTH: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker, as he obviously has not read the Auditor-General's report. Minister, by not having the capacity to conduct internal audits, was the commissioner in breach of section 31 (2) (c) of the Financial Management Act, which requires chief executives to have adequate controls in place?

MR HARGREAVES: I do not think so.

Multicultural affairs

MS MacDONALD: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to Mr Hargreaves in his capacity as Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services. Can you please advise the Assembly of recent developments in multicultural affairs in the ACT?

Mrs Dunne: Wasn't the Chief Minister asked and didn't he answer this yesterday?

MR HARGREAVES: I thank Mrs Dunne for the comments. I thank Ms MacDonald very much for the question. I have said many times inside and outside this chamber that I believe Canberra to be the most successful multicultural community in the world.

Mr Pratt: Ooh!

MR HARGREAVES: I note Mr Pratt said, "Ooh"in a negative sense. I hope the community out there heard likewise.

We have over 200 multicultural, multi-faith organisations, which provide thousands of Canberrans with opportunities to maintain and celebrate their cultural heritage and to share this with the wider community. We have more than 80 different cultural groups represented throughout the city. We pride ourselves on our harmonious, inclusive and truly diverse community and are committed to seeing this community grow and prosper.

The Stanhope government is proud to represent such a diverse and committed community. We believe in the rights of all people to be heard and are committed to that great Australian philosophy of giving everyone a fair go. We were the first jurisdiction in Australia to have a bill of rights, and the last developed country not to have a national one. When we enacted the Human Rights Act, we entrenched the principles of a fair go, equality, diversity and inclusiveness.

Our social plan recognises the right of everyone to participate in and contribute to the Canberra community, to have the opportunity to reach their full potential and to be respected. It is with these principles in mind that I initiated six multicultural forums throughout the year that culminated in my inaugural ministerial multicultural summit on Saturday. I initiated these forums and summit to widen my circle of advice and, therefore, help develop more representative policies on multiculturalism.


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