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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 7 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 1720..


MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

parts to this question. The second part is the government's approach to the security at interchanges. We have partnership arrangements with the police, we have beefed up the security at ACTION interchanges with the presence of security officers, and we will—

Mr Pratt: What about your promise to significantly improve security by July?

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Pratt! We are having enough difficulty hearing without interjections.

MR HARGREAVES: The security at interchanges is something we are working on together with transport officers, the union, bus drivers and the police. The program is being rolled out. I believe that as at 1 July there was significant improvement in the security at interchanges. I really think we are seeing yet again opposition members pulling out an incident or referring to a particular aspect and asking, "Why haven't you done that by this date?"

A bit of research will reveal that we have. In fact, on many occasions I have stood up in this place and I have indicated the relationships around security at interchanges with the Transport Workers Union and transport officers. But it would appear that those members opposite have not bothered to check the Hansard.

Multiculturalism

DR FOSKEY: My question is to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. It is in regard to the range of activities that go on within the Theo Notaras centre. Could the minister please advise the Assembly why the director of multicultural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs has moved into the Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre, the rooms that he and his staff are occupying and the activities that are no longer possible given this reconfiguration in the centre?

MR HARGREAVES: I thank Dr Foskey for the question. You will appreciate, Dr Foskey, that we do not have absolute micro details on these things. But I can tell you this. The Office of Multicultural Affairs was located over in the Rudd Street-Alinga Street area of town. You might recall that; No 12, I think, was the address. It was a fair way from the constituency that it was created to serve, that is, the multicultural community. Its predominant activities are now around the Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre. There are some organisations in the old Griffin Centre, but predominantly it is in the Theo Notaras centre.

I concurred with the proposal to move the director and staff into the centre because I wanted to have those officers that provide the services to the multicultural community to be walking and talking within the community they serve. I was not satisfied that we had optimum consultation and optimum connection with the community.

In relation to what activities will not go on, I really have got no idea because they are there. There was not somebody removed forcibly and thrown onto the street so that this could happen. My understanding—and I could be subject to correction, but I do not think so—is that there were actually some people in the centre who were occupying more space than they actually needed who were quite happy for that change to happen.


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