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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 03 Hansard (Thursday, 18 March 2010) . . Page.. 1125 ..

the meeting we did make an agreement that all participants at the meeting would keep the discussions confidential while everybody had time to go back to their own groups and talk about it.

But the Chief Minister and I also indicated that should I be asked a question in the Assembly that I would answer that question. Those letters did contain the government’s preferred option; so I do not see any problem with providing you with that.

In relation to an analysis that has led to that, I think at this point in time those matters are before cabinet and they will be cabinet in confidence. But the letters will provide you with the information you need.

Mr Hanson: Can I have that by close of business?

MS GALLAGHER: It is my birthday. I am busy this afternoon.

Multicultural affairs—strategy

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. On behalf of the multicultural community can I wish the Deputy Chief Minister a very happy birthday today. I know they all join with the opposition in wishing her a happy birthday. Minister, can you tell me what the government is doing to support Canberra’s multicultural community?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Hargreaves for his continued interest in our multicultural community. The ACT multicultural strategy 2010-13 sets out the ACT government’s visions and goals in the multicultural affairs portfolio and clearly outlines activities which will support: a whole-of-government framework for the delivery of programs; increased participation of Canberrans from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in social, economic and community life; opportunities to celebrate and showcase multiculturalism and the various traditions and cultures that constitute the ACT community; improved access and equity in the provision of services for individuals from culturally diverse backgrounds who choose to live in the ACT; and greater leadership within government, community and business sectors to advance multiculturalism in the ACT through engaging with, participating in and promoting the diversity of our community. The multicultural strategy 2010-13 is the product of a comprehensive consultation process which brought together voices from all parts of our city. Over the next four years we can anticipate Canberra reinforcing its place as a recognised leader in multicultural affairs.

The ACT government recognises, encourages and fosters the multicultural community through a range of initiatives focused on boosting opportunities and showcasing our cultural diversity. This includes services to assist the settlement of new migrants. The ACT government has increased funding to the Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services of $200,000 over four years. This money will be used to provide information, advocacy and referral services to new migrants. Importantly, the Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services will develop and tailor information sessions on housing, aged care and employment to ensure migrants, asylum seekers and refugees have an understanding of how to navigate these essential services.

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