Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2010) . . Page.. 239 ..
non-Muslims alike. But we do not accept the position put by the Greens that one group, over all others, should be given inside running. We will, at all times, attempt to adopt a fair process in relation to this matter, and that is why the government has moved the amendment that I have now put to the Assembly in my name.
MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (7.55): We acknowledge the sentiments in the Greens’ motion and agree that we should recognise the importance of encouraging and promoting amongst the people of the ACT a deeper knowledge and understanding of the Islamic culture and history. We also acknowledge the efforts that have been made in the community to establish an Islamic library which will no doubt house a broad collection of text.
It is, however, also important to recognise the grant processes that are in place to assist with this kind of activity. Across the portfolios there are grant programs and other funding programs that support such developments and proposals. I am aware from discussions with groups across many sectors that, more often than not, supply does not always meet demand. But this is another issue for another time.
Paragraph (2) of Ms Bresnan’s motion is not applying due process and it is not possible to support a motion that seeks to give such advantage to one community group. We are constantly being asked for assistance by many similar organisations who also carry out good work in the community. For these reasons, we therefore support the government’s amendment which acknowledges that there are a range of government funding programs in existence and that these programs are there specifically for the purpose of supporting the development of community and multicultural resources in the ACT.
The amendment also goes on to acknowledge that the proposal to establish an Islamic library should be considered in this context. I encourage the proponents to submit applications for the various funding rounds and to pursue their goal, as I would encourage any group who would seek to enrich our landscape and community with such a resource. I do thank Ms Bresnan for bringing us this motion and look forward to hearing more about the Islamic library and the Islamic library endeavour in the near future.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (7.57): I am quite surprised at the speech that Mr Corbell has just delivered and the lack of knowledge that Mr Corbell and the government seem to have of this project and indeed what Ms Bresnan actually said. If the minister was able to get on the web and look at the master plan for the Canberra Islamic Centre at Monash, or perhaps even go out and visit, he would understand that there is a new building required for the library. So it is nonsense that somehow Ms Bresnan is proposing that we move the library away from there or give away somebody else’s property. It is just arrant nonsense and it is not worthy of this place. It is not worthy of this minister, who is normally quite accurate in what he does. It is either very disingenuous—
Mr Hanson: Really?
MR SMYTH: Yes, he calls it to account, or perhaps I should say that Mr Corbell prides himself on being accurate in what he does. Clearly, what has just been said in