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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 9 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 3884..


Mr Hargreaves did as well. All in all it is, I think, a very useful conference. It meets every other year, which is probably the right timing. I would simply commend the report to members of the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Lake Burley Griffin—water quality

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to a later hour.

National Multicultural Festival

Statement by minister

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Community Services, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Women and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs) (12.02), by leave: On 16 February 2011 the Assembly passed a motion calling for the government to consult with the community to develop new events and concepts for the 2012 festival, to foster increased exchanges and discussions among the diverse ethnic, religious and social groups within our community, to report on the above initiatives prior to September and to include the promotion of social inclusion and interaction into the vision of the festival.

In response, we have been busy for some time now engaging with the community and have listened to their comments. I have no doubt the feedback received will help to shape another exciting and inclusive event next year. In response to the motion, the Office of Multicultural Affairs partnered with the Canberra Multicultural Community Forum to hold two community forums to discuss new ideas and suggestions. The two formal community consultation forums were widely promoted through community radio notice boards, community CD net and the Multicultural Community eNews bulletin. The eNews reaches over 500 organisations who subscribe weekly.

The forums presented an opportunity for people to put forward their views, opinions and feedback on how we can make the festival better in the coming years. I am very pleased that these forums attracted representatives from around 55 different community groups. It was also clear at the forums that our local community has wholeheartedly embraced, and is enthusiastically committed to, the National Multicultural Festival.

In addition to the forums, the Office of Multicultural Affairs has assisted the Human Rights Commission to organise a race relations roundtable which was held in June this year. This was an excellent opportunity to gain valuable input from representatives of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and multicultural community groups. Several ideas were presented at this roundtable involving the 2012 National Multicultural Festival as a mechanism for enhancing community relations in the ACT. I am pleased to announce that the many ideas and suggestions made by those attending the forums will be taken into account in the planning stages for the next year and, subject to budget considerations, we will work through ways to implement as many of those ideas as possible.


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