Page 2126 - Week 07 - Thursday, 29 June 2023

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MR STEEL: When we saw issues with this HRIMS project, we immediately stepped in to remedy the situation and undertook multiple reviews to address the issues that were being experienced. What we have now determined is that there was another option that was not considered at the early stage of the project, which is at less risk to the territory and less cost to the territory, and that is what we are pursuing. We are taking responsibility for that and making sure that we get the best outcomes, because it is important that we invest in upgrading our payroll systems, which are aging—

Opposition members interjecting

Dr Paterson: Point of order. Madam Speaker, I cannot hear over the interjections from the opposition.

MADAM SPEAKER: Members, you have been asked to be quiet. You may be enthusiastic about this, but it cannot be to the disadvantage of (1) the minister answering and (2) others being able to hear.

MR STEEL: It is important that we continue to make investments in upgrading our ICT systems, particularly when they support important things like payroll, which goes towards paying ACT public services so they can continue to deliver the services Canberrans expect. This project has not gone as intended, but we are not going to throw good money after bad. We are going to invest in a different direction based on detailed reviews that have been undertaken into the project.

National Multicultural Festival—funding

DR PATERSON: My question is to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Minister, what is the government doing to build on the record-breaking success of this year’s National Multicultural Festival?

MS CHEYNE: I thank Dr Paterson for the question. The ACT government is investing in the future of the National Multicultural Festival through this budget by committing an additional $3.3 million over the next two years. This funding will support the ongoing delivery and future growth of the festival, continuing the standard set by the record-breaking success of this year’s 25th anniversary festival. The additional funding will enable enhanced sustainability and public safety measures appropriate for an event of this scale and profile, provide additional staff and operational resources, and fund an upgrade of the event’s digital platform as well as additional investment in accessibility.

DR PATERSON: Minister, what is the government doing to support the participation of multicultural groups and organisations at the festival?

MS CHEYNE: The National Multicultural Festival is proudly community led and it will continue to be. The 25th anniversary festival this year featured 266 organisations who participated as stallholders and more than 325 performance groups. With the organisation of our fantastic community coordinators, in partnership with the festival team, this year’s festival featured a record-breaking 30 cultural showcases.
To continue to support the participation of multicultural groups and organisations, this budget will increase the festival’s grants program funding pool to $200,000, its largest


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