Page 3208 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 18 October 2022

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particularly the first part of that question was: are you aware of it and do you have any comments about the reason it is so?

MS CHEYNE: Madam Speaker, I do not have comments about it at this stage, because I think it probably requires some deeper interrogation. And I appreciate Mr Cain raising it today.

Mr Cain: So will the minister take it on notice?

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Cain, you have asked your question. If you want to ask another, stand on your feet.

MR CAIN: Minister, why have you let this gap widen under your tenure as Minister for Multicultural Affairs?

MS CHEYNE: I think Mr Cain’s question shows a gross misunderstanding of how the public service works and, indeed, how ministerial responsibilities work.

Mr Cain: It is on page 65, Minister. You can read it yourself.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Cain, that is enough!

Ms Lee: Attack is the best defence.

MADAM SPEAKER: Please, members. Question time is to ask questions, not to throw comments across the chamber.

MS CHEYNE: All directorates are responsible for inclusivity and diversity and ensuring that we are—

Mr Hanson: So everybody has failed, not just you? Is that your argument?

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, please pay attention to what I say.

MS CHEYNE: I think we can recognise that we do need to do more work here and that diversity and ensuring that that is reflected in all levels of the public service is achieved. I am certainly very happy to have a further conversation with my colleagues.

The multiculturalism bill that we introduced last week does reference and goes to the heart of the standards, principles and values that we expect not only as a city but also of our ACT government directorates and agencies and how they are promoting those values and principles, including through participation, whether that be employment or their policies or their programs. That will be reported on in each directorate’s annual report every year, and there will be a statement delivered to the Assembly. I encourage members to visit the multiculturalism bill and understand it.

MRS KIKKERT: Minister, what message does this send to the multicultural community?

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