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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 August 2018) . . Page.. 2553 ..


have matters of concern that the government can address, to make us aware of those representations so that we can address those issues in a timely way.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (4.36): I want to thank Mrs Kikkert for bringing this motion to the Assembly. It is always good to have an opportunity to discuss multiculturalism, because it is such a significant issue in our community, and to hear different stories and different perspectives that members bring to that and some of the issues that are out there. We all do see these things slightly differently, so I always find these debates and discussions very interesting.

I say up-front that we will be supporting Minister Stephen-Smith’s amendment to the motion. We are certainly in favour of the provision of timely information about progress to the community, and the minister’s amendment appropriately reflects this, in line with the reporting and evaluation requirements set out in the multicultural framework itself.

The framework is a key part of delivering meaningful actions to support multiculturalism. The high-level framework, and the multicultural action plan that sits under it, includes important community-building measures such as encouraging and facilitating the use of community facilities for cultural events as well as practical supports like better access to interpreter services, especially for those recent arrivals who have yet to build up community engagement pathways and supports.

I certainly heard the point that Mrs Kikkert made about the need for venues. This is something that I have discussed with a number of communities. Particularly as their communities get larger, finding adequate venues is increasingly challenging. This is something that we need to be aware of. I am very conscious of the fact that the wave of immigration that came to Canberra through the 60s built the clubs, which became their meeting spaces. Those opportunities perhaps are not around as much these days. I think there is a bit of creative thinking to be done regarding how we might replicate, in a modern version, what was done then. We have the Croatian Club, the Spanish Club and all of these other places. How do we enable some of our more recent communities—particularly the Indian communities, for example, but there would be others—to have similar opportunities?

The Greens have strongly advocated for the multicultural communities of Canberra to have a voice and a role in deciding on and advising the government on what is important to enable full participation in community life. That is why, as part of the parliamentary agreement, we sought to establish a community multicultural advisory board to assist with the implementation of the framework and also to convene a multicultural summit.

The Multicultural Advisory Council was established last year and has 15 members from a broad range of culturally and linguistically diverse communities in the territory, including 10 community members and representatives of five multicultural organisations. The council has already had a role in implementing the current action plan and in the planning for the summit to be held later this year. As noted in the motion, the current multicultural action plan runs out at the end of this year. I am


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