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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 5 Hansard (10 May) . . Page.. 1795 ..

policy to address what they considered to be the primary concern that had been expressed by ACT Policing and other stakeholders, which was the amount of alcohol available, the level of intoxication and the behaviour on the footprint. I would like to highlight that the email feedback from police as released under FOI starts with the sentence that they believe this is a terrific, progressive step for the festival in relation to the issue of restricting the amount of alcohol available on the footprint.

We know from the feedback from this year's festival that the festival's reputation as a family-friendly event increased compared to last year and that more people agreed or strongly agreed that they felt safe at this year's festival. As I said the specific way in which that policy is implemented will be part of the review.

MR PARTON: Minister, will you apologise to Canberra's multicultural community organisations for imposing on them a policy that, if not opposite to what ACT Policing clearly advised, was clearly in conflict with that advice?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Parton for his supplementary question. I will continue to engage with the multicultural community, as I do. I explicitly requested also that the Community Services Directorate continue to engage with the multicultural community about all aspects of the festival.

I did understand that what I believed was the steering group for the festival would have been involved in this decision. Again I was disappointed to discover that that was not the case and that the community was not as engaged in making this particular decision as I had believed they would have been. Another thing that we will be looking at in the review is exactly how we manage that consultation in the lead-up to each festival to ensure that we really are reflecting the views of the multicultural community.

I did also say, though, in October to the Community Services Directorate that if we had a lot of feedback on the changes to the participation policy at that time, when stallholder applications closed, it was very transparent—

Mr Parton: A point of order.


Mr Parton: It is on relevance. The question was: will you apologise to Canberra's multicultural community? That was the question. Will you apologise?

MADAM SPEAKER: In the context of the policy of banning alcohol, I think the minister was going to the principles of the conversation she had. You have 30 seconds to continue.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. As I was saying, the stallholder application process closed in September and I was perfectly happy to respond to feedback that was received. There was a small amount of feedback received in relation to this policy and we engaged with stakeholders to ensure that they could deliver the best stall that they could in the context of this policy.

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