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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 August 2018) . . Page.. 2554 ..


pleased that both the Multicultural Advisory Council and the wider community input that we anticipate from the summit will inform the actions under the next action plan.

I am certainly looking forward to the summit. There are always conversations going on and meetings being held of advisory groups and the like, but having a summit like this brings a particular focus, presents new opportunities and perhaps allows for different people to be involved than those who are involved on a more ongoing basis. I am certainly looking forward to seeing how the summit goes and the outcomes that arise from it.

We certainly believe in the community having a say on the decisions that impact on them, and appropriate resourcing to ensure that this input is informed and meaningful. I am confident that the couple of items that we put into the parliamentary agreement will play a part in that. That is not to say they are the sole mechanisms; as I touched on, there are many other fora. I know that the minister goes to many events. We all attend many events, and we do get a lot of opportunities to chat to the community. I think these particular opportunities will enhance that.

Multiculturalism and social inclusion are not just about a range of standalone actions or outcomes. They are also about the interconnectedness of the whole community. The government is a part of that community, and I am proud to be part of this progressive territory that welcomes and protects people from all walks of life, no matter where in the world they come from and no matter how they happen to be in Australia, whether it be by plane, by boat, or by the luck of their birth.

As a progressive jurisdiction and as a compassionate community, and as a member of the Greens and of this Assembly, it is a great source of pride to me personally that, firstly, we are a refugee welcome zone—I know Mrs Kikkert touched on that in her motion—and, secondly, this Assembly has unanimously supported the two recent Greens motions calling on the federal government to end inhumane offshore processing and to support asylum seekers to come to Australia through a fair and equitable community sponsorship program.

It is a great shame that, at the federal level, both major parties have turned their back on asylum seekers and that compassion and indeed our international humanitarian obligations have been pushed aside in favour of political fearmongering. The Greens will always stand by the rights of refugees, human rights, and the right to seek asylum and protection from persecution and conflict. I am proud of the fact that here in the ACT this is an issue with tripartisan support, and I think this very much reflects our community sentiment. Hopefully, we can perhaps be an example to other jurisdictions of how you can put aside some of those more fear-driven arguments, embrace some of these opportunities and take a really mature perspective on it. It certainly is great that the Assembly has been able to do that.

As I said, I would like to thank Mrs Kikkert for bringing forward the motion and giving us the opportunity to acknowledge and reflect on the valuable contribution of culturally and linguistically diverse groups in our community, and the particular needs they have. I think that very much goes with it. We often talk about their contribution


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