Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 2 Hansard (16 February) . .
make a short speech and spoke again about the importance of having a harmonious and peaceful multicultural society and, again, about the importance of freedom of expression. After my speech and being involved in the dance, I continued to visit stall operators to thank them for their contribution to both the Multicultural Festival and to our community as a whole.
On the Sunday of the Multicultural Festival I was a special guest of the Federation of Chinese Associations of the ACT and was lucky enough to see a number of performances put on by the many different Chinese associations in celebrating the new Year of the Monkey and the celebration of the Multicultural Festival. After watching these wonderful performances, including the traditional lion dance, I was able to make a short speech. It was a really hot and busy day, but I am pleased to have been able to speak to such a large audience. Again I spoke about the importance of having freedom of belief and freedom of expression. I also wished everyone a happy Chinese new year and wished that all the babies who are born in the Year of the Monkey be very clever and not too mischievous.
Among others, I was joined by my daughter Nicolina and my colleagues Mr Alistair Coe MLA and Senator Zed Seselja on stage for a celebration of the Chinese new year. How great it was for my daughter to be able to be a part of shooting the confetti into the crowd. I congratulate the Canberra Sikh Association for being awarded the most decorated stall and the Integrated Women's Network for being awarded the most informative stall. These groups contributed greatly to our festival.
I also thank those who participated in the Multicultural Festival, including the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association and FINACT for their wonderful contributions. I thank the Tongan Language School for inviting me on stage with them, and Sam and Chin Wong for having me at their wonderful Chinese new year celebration. Congratulations to Ms Berry for overseeing the event.
Lifeline book fair
MR COE (4.41): I rise this afternoon to speak about the biggest book fair in the country—Canberra's Lifeline book fair. I had the pleasure of going to the book fair last Friday afternoon and made sure I came away with a number of things from the treasure trove of over 250,000 items. On offer last weekend were books, CDs, DVDs, vinyls, comics, games, puzzles, magazines and much, much more. Over 650 volunteers work in the warehouse and on the telephones to help ensure that this event is a considerable success. Last weekend's event was, indeed, a success raising over half a million dollars for the crisis service.
Figures released by Lifeline show that it costs Lifeline Canberra $26 to answer a call for help. As the average spend at the book fair was $31, Lifeline has made the very valid point that every book fair patron has helped to save a life whilst enjoying their time searching for books amongst the quarter of a million on offer.
Lifeline Canberra is amongst the most respected community organisations in the ACT. For 45 years Lifeline Canberra has provided telephone crisis support via telephone number 13 11 14 to the people of Canberra and the surrounding region. This service is
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