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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 November 2021) . . Page.. 3653 ..


As members will recall from question time yesterday, Events ACT will use this funding to support the participation of multicultural organisations in upcoming events, beginning with Australia Day and Canberra Day. This will provide an opportunity for multicultural groups to showcase their culture and food and explore other revenue-raising opportunities in 2022.

The government is also using this budget to continue to support the refugee, asylum seeker and humanitarian program to provide financial assistance of up to $2,000 for its clients who hold an ACT Services Access Card, as well as to support the resettlement of refugees, asylum seekers and humanitarian entrants in the ACT by building on recent government actions in this area, including funding of $140,000 for the RASH program as part of the COVID-19 community sector support package and a further $100,000 which was provided in the previous budget.

We are also, in this budget, providing emergency material aid and support for vulnerable people in the multicultural community, including $137,000 in emergency material aid and additional COVID-specific liaison officers to the tune of $135,000.

These are key investments, Madam Speaker. They are essential for our community to continue to grow as a culturally and linguistically diverse city-state where, whether they are born here or move here, people feel welcomed and hold a sense of belonging.

Mrs Jones touched on the large-scale community facility at EPIC. This is, as we have flagged previously, being managed by Economic Development, with Venues Canberra and Major Projects Canberra being the delivery partners. It is technically within another budget output, but I will provide a brief update.

There is funding in the budget to undertake planning and stakeholder consultation for the staged expansion and redevelopment of Exhibition Park in Canberra, including the consideration of options for the construction of a 10,000 square metre indoor venue to support major and community events. Once the budget is passed, governance of the project will be finalised, and a project group will then undertake stakeholder and community consultation.

I can confirm that a steering committee has been established, chaired by Economic Development. It held its first meeting in early November. The Community Services Directorate is a member of that steering committee. It has already flagged the need to engage with key stakeholders, in particular the multicultural community. I am sure that that comes as good news to the community, and to Mrs Jones and Mr Braddock, all of whom are very interested in this work.

Madam Speaker, I intend to thank all staff across my portfolios when I speak for the last time on the budget in coming days, but I want to send a special shout-out to the team at the Office for Multicultural Affairs. As has been recognised by several other members speaking on this output class, it is a small team of people who achieve extraordinary amounts, punching well above their weight. They have had a particularly challenging year, from having to change the format of citizenship ceremonies depending on restrictions, including delivering additional citizenship


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