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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 August 2018) . . Page.. 2549 ..


this policy. We were told by Minister Stephen-Smith in her statement in September last year that this policy was then currently being revised. The updated policy was expected to be released by the end of 2017. As of this morning, this document still does not appear on the Community Services Directorate’s website. Our CALD residents who daily face difficult language barriers deserve to be updated on the progress of this policy document.

Other concerns that have been shared with me personally involve commitments such as the promise of an online community coordinated venue booking system, which was supposed to be fully operational by 1 July 2016. As our multicultural communities grow and flourish, they are struggling to find the needed space to hold events and gatherings. This online booking system is intended to enable community groups to utilise existing government facilities across the ACT. This access is increasingly important for the continued viability of many community organisations.

Minister Stephen-Smith, in her statement last year, acknowledged that the launch of this booking system has taken longer than originally envisaged but assured the members of this Assembly, and, through us, our constituents, that the system would be completed in late 2017. It still has not come online. I think we all understand that delays sometimes occur. Our CALD residents certainly understand that delays sometimes occur. But in order for stakeholders to feel like they are valued, respected members of our community, it is essential that when delays occur candid, detailed information is forthcoming.

For example, I have heard frustration that the ACT diversity register, which was supposed to be up and running by 31 December 2015, was only launched on 1 June this year. Knowing the obstacles the creation of this register faced would go far to assuring our CALD residents that this government really does consider them and their needs as priorities.

Mr Assistant Speaker, I move this motion today on behalf of many of these residents. They have come to me with questions, good questions, and I have done my best to seek answers for them. I have done so through a number of past questions on notice, but in light of the fact that the first multicultural action plan has reached the end of its life span and that a new action plan is in the works, now is a good time to seek greater clarity from the minister.

I call upon this government not just to review the first action plan but also to provide that complete review to the members of this Assembly, and to our culturally and linguistically diverse Canberrans, who deserve to know the progress of a framework that means so very much to them. Mr Assistant Speaker, I commend this motion to the Assembly.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion, Minister for Disability, Children and Youth, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations) (4.25): I would like to thank Mrs Kikkert for bringing this motion to the Assembly today, and for her obvious and ongoing commitment to the multicultural community and interest in how, through the


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