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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (13 December) . . Page.. 4086..


MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

While I am on my feet I would like to take this opportunity to thank the artistic director of the multicultural festival, Mr Dominic Mico. There is no doubt in my mind that the festival would not have grown as it has without his hard work.

Last week marked the first birthday of the Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre. This centre, the first in Australia, provides a home to many of the city's multicultural groups. There are 29 cultural groups in the multicultural centre, with another two African groups to be accommodated shortly. Through the centre our multicultural groups are able to make sure that their cultures, traditions and beliefs are passed on to future generations and to the community at large.

Last year I hosted six multicultural forums, culminating in the multicultural summit in December last year. These forums offered a great chance to talk to the multicultural community about issues affecting them. And I have conducted more ministerial forums this year so far. The issues raised in these forums were used as the basis of the development of the Draft ACT multicultural strategy 2006-09, which I will table in the Assembly this week. The purpose of the strategy is to provide our multicultural community with a road map to our future prosperity. Part of that is ensuring that all sectors are engaged and feel empowered to work with the government to address the issues affecting them.

We are all very lucky to live in a city where multiculturalism is not only embraced but also a way of life. The Stanhope government will continue to work hard to ensure that we continue to enjoy our way of life without unnecessary interference in our liberty and without excluding someone who happens to be different. Jon Stanhope declared Canberra a welcoming city. A welcoming city means that we do not have any predetermination of how people think and what is in their hearts. We do not need to give them a trivial pursuit question to prove the point.

Mr Stanhope: Mr Speaker, I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Auditor-General's report No 8 of 2006

Mr Speaker presented the following paper:

Auditor-General's Act—Auditor-General's report No 8/2006—2005-06 Financial Audits, dated 12 December 2006.

Motion (by Mr Corbell ), by leave, agreed to:

That the Assembly authorises publication of the Auditor-General's Report No 8/2006.

Schools—closures

Ministerial statement

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation and Minister for Industrial Relations) (3.48): I seek leave to make a ministerial statement concerning the renewal of schools in the ACT.


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