Page 3859 - Week 11 - Thursday, 24 November 2022
stories to tell. Walking along the wall where all of the leaves were stuck up, there was one that really jumped out, from a child who said:
I have parents that don’t understand English really well, and when it comes to a document or police checks, they give the responsibility to me to fill out. And sometimes I don’t understand the words. I feel ashamed. So to make my life easier, please make documents and police check easy to understand for kids and parents who are not from here.
There are probably other things we can do to make life easier for children who are in that situation, and not require the children to be the translators for their parents. We should make the systems easier for the parents themselves to navigate.
On a more positive note—and I want to emphasise that there was support provided for the children through this process—children talked about the importance of random acts of kindness and doing kind things. They talked about “liking the beach, and I would like to be there more”, “social, emotional”, “dogs at school for people who need them”. There are a wide range of activities and things that make children and young people feel good about creativity and imagination, about sport, about nature and being outside.
I encourage everyone to take the time to look at this project, listen to the voices of children in our community and reflect on how we sometimes put words in their mouth that do not reflect what they really want to say.
Federal government—territory rights
MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (6.08): I have lost count of how many times in this chamber in the last six years I have spoken about restoring territory rights, and argued against and reflected on the gross injustice of the ACT and its citizens having been denied our democratic rights by the federal parliament for 25 years. I am pleased that in the last several months there have been several positive occasions on which to speak—I think I can say on behalf of us all, finally.
Madam Speaker, you would be aware that, in early August, the federal Labor government, through a private member’s bill, brought forward changes to restore territory rights, which was passed by the House of Representatives later that week, resoundingly. Not long ago it was introduced into the Senate, and there was quite a lengthy debate that ended rather abruptly this morning, with the result at the end of the second reading debate being 41 to 25.
It is not over yet, Madam Speaker. It has moved to the committee stage. Some senators have indicated that they have amendments that they wish to put. For some reason they have not been drafted by today, despite it having been before the parliament now for more than three months. Regardless, 41 to 25 is a lot different from 34 to 36.