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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 9 Hansard (21 September) . . Page.. 3076..


MR PRATT (continuing):

of my personal position, nor of the position of the opposition. The position of the opposition is extremely positive in this area. It was a low, cheap political attack by Mr Hargreaves, who decided to bite the hand that had fed him.

The feedback that we got last night and this morning from the broader community through diplomatic and multicultural community channels is that people were extremely happy with that celebration. They are very positive about what was achieved there last night and very pleased with the extremely positive dialogue that occurred last night. Bishop Browning, Mr Arnold and all of the ambassadors spoke extremely wisely about the need for multifaith and multicultural dialogue. It was an important occasion. Senator Gary Humphries, who also attended—bless his heart—read out a glowing and positive message from the Prime Minister to welcome that community.

I would have to say that we, the opposition, would probably find it extremely difficult to invite Mr Hargreaves or Mr Stanhope to any other activities of that nature. We wrote to the broader community and announced that this was going to be very much a bipartisan affair. But this is the way that the minister treats what should have been a positive occasion.

MR SPEAKER: The member's time has expired.

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference

MS MacDONALD (Brindabella) (5.00): Mr Speaker, I want briefly to talk about our recent trip to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference in Nigeria. I do not think anybody would necessarily desire to go to Nigeria; it is not the number one holiday destination for anybody. While I felt some trepidation about going to Nigeria—and I am sure that many people were aware of that—I have to say that I had an amazing experience. That was not least, of course, because British Airways lost my bag for four days. But never mind about that.

I specifically want to thank Iain Dickie, the high commissioner, and Brian Garrington, the deputy high commissioner, and all the staff at the Australian High Commission for their assistance to all the Australian delegation to Nigeria. If I get a chance in the next sitting, I might talk about Christine Borowiecki, who is the principal of the Abuja Capital International College and thank her for taking me and two of my Australian parliamentary colleagues around the school as well as one of the local craft markets. That was an amazing experience in itself. Nigeria is a land with great potential, but I think it has a long way to go before it will achieve it.

MR SPEAKER: The time for the debate has expired.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.02): In the brief time available to me I would like to touch on some—

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, I must interrupt. We have reached the end of the time for this debate. My apologies.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 5.02 pm until Tuesday, 17 October 2006, at 10.30 am.


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