Page 1728 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 7 June 2022

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MS CHEYNE: I want to thank Mr Davis for the question, Madam Speaker. I went to this a little bit in my previous answer—it is a matter for individual directorates; it is not centralised; I am not the minister for this data collection. But what I can do is talk a little bit about data collection that occurs within Access Canberra and perhaps touch a bit on the Multicultural Recognition Act, the exposure draft of which I tabled today.

So for example, Access Canberra collects some demographic data in its annual survey. For example, we know that when it comes to CALD community users, that generally those who identify that they speak a language other than English at home are more likely to attend a service centre than someone who might primarily be speaking English at home. So, I think what we could then deduce for that, usefully, is that if we ever did see a decline in service centre attendance overall, that there are sections of a community when an in-person service is more highly valued, and that would certainly help guide our service offering. But I would draw members’ attention to section 13 in our proposed multicultural recognition bill, which I tabled the exposure draft of this morning. We expect it would, and indeed its intention would, be encouraging the different directorates to be proactively addressing gaps in accessibility, creating more equitable access and working to fulfil the multicultural charter. While it is flexible in how it is designed and how directorates go about that, I could certainly envisage that more considered data collection could be one way of achieving that, depending on the directorate.

Federal government—Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders

MS ORR: My question is to the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs. Minister, what does the new Federal Labor government’s commitment to advance a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament mean for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT? How will the ACT government support this?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I thank Ms Orr for her question. Well Madam Speaker, as you know, the Uluru Statement from the Heart was a generous invitation to government from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders across Australia to chart a new path forward in the journey of reconciliation.

It was disheartening that the outgoing Liberal government did not commit to implementing the Uluru Statement in full, and that is just one reason I was so pleased with the recent election of an Albanese Labor government. I recognise that work towards an Indigenous voice was progressing under the outgoing Liberal government in partnership with the states and territories. And I acknowledge and thank outgoing Minister Ken Wyatt for his commitment to this work and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders who had engaged in the co-design process to date.

But this was a different model to what was proposed in the Uluru Statement. It was a—

Opposition members interjecting—

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