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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 February 2021) . . Page.. 304 ..


systemic improvements that might be needed, whether to procedures within AMC, regulatory processes, or culture. For that reason, I support the government’s amendments.

MS LEE (Kurrajong—Leader of the Opposition) (11.28): I had not planned to speak on this motion, but after having listened to the debate and the previous speakers, I could not help but get on my feet.

Mrs Kikkert brought a very important motion to this Assembly. This is a significant issue, not only for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community but for the entire Canberra community. I commend Mrs Kikkert for bringing on this motion, drafted in a way designed to bring all the parties together and work together on an issue that is of such importance. But no. Despite all the rhetoric about this ACT Greens party coming in under the guise of bringing in a new normal, what we see is business as usual.

This sorry excuse for an amendment by Minister Gentleman is patronising and completely misses the entire point of Mrs Kikkert’s motion. There is Minister Gentleman, who has taken on this portfolio, hiding and protecting the former failed Minister for Corrections and talking about calling on the ACT government to “proceed with the review in a timely way” and “report back by the last sitting day of September 2021”.

We are talking about issues of systemic racism; he talks about putting on lunches and jewellery-making classes. We are talking about issues of systemic racism and he spruiks everything that apparently—apparently—works. The truth is that we know it does not. The stats speak for themselves.

Mr Rattenbury quoted those stats. They are staggering—staggering. And it has all happened under the watch of this Labor-Greens coalition. It is fine for Mr Rattenbury to come into this place and say, “It is not about reports. It is about action and implementation.” You have had 20 years to do this—20 years. Don’t come into this place, patronise our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and say, “It’s not about more talk.” You have had your time. You have failed time and again.

As Ms Stephen-Smith said, we cannot even begin to understand what it is like. But as somebody who has faced at least a little bit of racism all my life—the sad reality being that I probably always will—I will tell you what does not help: talking the talk by people in power and not taking action. That is what does not help.

This amendment by this government shows that they are willing to sweep this issue under the carpet, that they are willing to turn a blind eye and leave behind our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. That is a government that does not deserve to be here.

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (11.31): The motion that I have brought before the Assembly today is an important one. It represents the clear request of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans. I am deeply disappointed that those


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