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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (3 August) . . Page.. 3322..

MS GALLAGHER: Exactly, they're our work force.

MRS BURKE: Minister, why is it that your department quite clearly considers that it doesn't have to follow the law or the rules set down for everyone else? Is this yet another example of a failure of leadership by you as a minister?


Mrs Burke: You don't have to follow the law?

MS GALLAGHER: No, I answered your question, which was: was it a failure of leadership?


MS DUNDAS: Mr Speaker, through you, my question is to the Minister for Community Affairs. Minister, as you would be aware, the Multicultural Women's Advocacy Service lost their federal government funding at the end of the financial year. In response to concerns about this, I understand that the head of the ACT Office of Multicultural Affairs indicated on radio that funding for the Multicultural Women's Advocacy Service was being considered by the ACT government but that there were concerns about overlaps with services that could be delivered by the new ACT multicultural centre.

Will the new multicultural centre provide a dedicated support service for multicultural women?

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, it is the case that the Liberal Party federally chose to defund the Multicultural Women's Advocacy Service in the ACT and, of course, that is the attitude of the Liberal Party to a multicultural Australia and to multicultural affairs generally. It is no surprise to learn that the Liberal Party federally and, certainly within the ACT, has no regard for the building of an inclusive society or community. The fact that they are now defunding women's multicultural advocacy groups comes as no surprise to this government.

One of the great difficulties with federalism, of course, is that the Liberal Party, having abandoned both women and, particularly, multicultural women, now looks to the states and territories to pick up the tab because they have chosen to abandon the multicultural communities of the ACT and have refused to fund a multicultural women's group. It was not a particularly significant amount of funding and I think it shows the pettiness and meanness of the federal government that the-

Mr Stefaniak: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: standing order 118 states:

The answer to a question without notice:

  1. shall be concise and confined to the subject matter of the question ...

MR SPEAKER: The Chief Minister is remaining on the subject matter of the question, which related to the advocacy service and the funding of it.

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