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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 8 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 2418..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

I do not need another layer of bureaucracy with its additional costs when I can receive feedback such as that which I received last Thursday night; so I do not propose to proceed with that council. Other ministers for multicultural affairs might have such a need because of their limited contact with multicultural communities and because of their time constraints. I, on the other hand, regard this as a priority. I do not want the views of the communities filtered in any way, which is another reason why the consultation process on multicultural strategies should be extended.

We must ensure that members of these communities have an opportunity to speak to us. We have said to them, "During this consultation period give us your contacts and we will talk to your organisations regardless of their size or nature, be they a club or an association."We will also talk to individuals and put them on an electronic mailing list. We do not want anybody to feel disenfranchised.

I express appreciation to the Office of Multicultural Affairs and to the departments of disability, housing and community service for all the work they have put in over the last couple of years. Mr Pratt was quite right; it has been hard. Those officers meet daily with members of the multicultural community, some of whom are wonderful and some of whom are not. It is testimony to the diplomatic and tactful skills of staff in the Office of Multicultural Affairs that we are as far forward as we are at the moment. I also thank members for their support. I think I am right in saying that this government has received multi-partisan support for its efforts in the area of multicultural affairs.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Estimates 2006-2007—Select Committee

Report—government response

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts) (10.58): For the information of members I present the following report:

Estimates 2006-2007—Select Committee—Report—Appropriation Bill 2006-2007—Government response, including Government response to the Dissenting Report, dated August 2006.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

I present the government response to the report of the Select Committee on Estimates 2006-2007. There is no doubt that the 2006-07 budget presented many challenges for the government. I have made that point clear on numerous occasions. In rising to these challenges the government delivered a budget that addresses the real and serious issues facing the territory right now, and that also provides the capacity for the future to deal with known fiscal pressures and risks.

Despite the considerable pressures facing the government, such as rising health care costs, the aging population and a declining land revenue base, the government has

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