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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 13 May 2021) . . Page.. 1504 ..

As the opposition itself noted during question time, dedicated commonwealth quarantine facilities would provide additional opportunities to consider the return of Australians overseas, as well as international students from India and other countries. We should have had these long ago; the federal government should have stepped up. We were hopeful that even now, perhaps in the most recent budget, we would have seen some leadership there, but we did not.

Because of its own sheer inaction, the commonwealth has found itself making this incredibly difficult decision that has had ongoing repercussions and will for some time, even with the ban lifting later this week. That was followed by midnight decisions to criminalise Australians trying to return home. That decision was certainly not made by the Chief Health Officer.

I support the motion’s call for action to further strengthen the ACT government’s efforts to provide information to our Indian and South Asian communities on accessing advice and support. I look forward to working with colleagues in the Assembly and across our government directorates towards achieving this.

All Canberrans grieve with our Indian community at this difficult time. As the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, I applaud the collective efforts of the Indian community to support each other in a time of crisis, and I thank Canberrans of all backgrounds for their strong support of the community.

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (4.46): I thank my colleagues for their contributions to this discussion. It is important to show our solidarity with the Indian and South-East Asian community here in the ACT and everything that they are going through.

Going to the question of Mrs Jones’ proposed amendment to part 3, I thank my colleagues in Labor and the Greens for their support for this amendment. Mr Pettersson summed it up very well when he said that our writing to and asking for an expansion of something and not having a repeat of what we have seen is not unreasonable. That is the going sentiment on part 3, and it is a perfectly reasonable one; we should not have to find ourselves back in this situation.

Question put:

That the amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 7

Noes 14

Mr Cain

Mr Barr

Ms Orr

Ms Castley

Mr Braddock

Dr Paterson

Mr Hanson

Ms Burch

Mr Pettersson

Mrs Jones

Ms Cheyne

Mr Rattenbury

Mrs Kikkert

Ms Clay

Mr Steel

Ms Lawder

Ms Davidson

Ms Vassarotti

Mr Parton

Mr Davis

Mr Gentleman

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