Page 3859 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 30 November 2021

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MR PARTON: Minister, for future developments like Ginninderry, will you commit to a “no conflicts” approach, where the government would not engage a joint venture development partner that owns the land to be sold to government for development?

MS BERRY: I do not even understand what the question means. I do not know that I could even answer about something that might or might not occur in the future. I also do not agree with the premise that the question implies, in any case.

COVID-19—multicultural communities

MR PETTERSSON: My question is to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. How is the ACT government supporting multicultural communities with the COVID-19 recovery?

MS CHEYNE: I thank Mr Pettersson for the question and his interest and general support of the multicultural communities, including in his electorate of Yerrabi. The ACT government is supporting multicultural communities through the current COVID recovery with a range of initiatives. Earlier today applications closed for the multicultural participation grants program designed to support community organisations to promote participation and cohesion, cultural diversity and social inclusion.

In the previous year’s round of grants we funded 49 organisations to deliver programs and events ranging from Diwali celebrations to financial literacy workshops. I look forward to updating the Assembly with this round’s successful recipients and their COVID recovery efforts in the coming months.

Following the postponement of the 25th anniversary of the National Multicultural Festival the additional $400,000 which was allocated to the festival in this year’s budget will be used to support the participation of multicultural organisations in large community events such as Australia Day and especially Canberra Day presented by Events ACT. This does not replace the festival but, rather, recognises the importance of our local events representing and celebrating the diversity of our community.

In addition, I am pleased to share that the 25th anniversary festival grant funding totalling over $177,000, which is bigger than previous years, will be offered to eligible community organisation applicants to assist them to participate in local events or to host their own fundraising activities. The ACT government is committed to fostering a community where everyone feels welcomed and has a strong sense of belonging.

Alongside our current work to develop and introduce a multicultural recognition act, which will now be next year, we are progressing our accreditation as a welcoming city. We are now proudly the fourth location in Australia to reach the established level of accreditation, and we are well-positioned to progress to the advanced level of the Welcoming Cities standard with that work already underway. (Time expired.)

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, how will Events ACT engage with multicultural communities to support their participation in community events in 2022?

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