Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 August 2021) . . Page.. 2330 ..

future investment delivers positive and effective outcomes. I can confirm for Mrs Jones that we looked across jurisdictions in the review.

The review considered the role community language schools play in maintaining and promoting language use in the Canberra community, how they operate and the standards that guide the delivery of languages services in schools. The review was carried out externally and independently and was provided to government recently. Because this review necessarily touches on government venues which provide the teaching and learning spaces, including schools, multiple ministers and directorates are working together on a cross-portfolio response. We have made good progress on this, and it is our intention to publicly table the review and its recommendations and the response at the completion of the work required. We are on track to do this by the end of October, so we are happy to agree with what the motion calls for, including considering the sub dot points that Mr Braddock has included at 3(a).

Regarding Mrs Jones’s comments about specific schools, the ACT government supports the community use of public school facilities, but this needs to be where it complements school operations. I think Mrs Jones would agree that we need to ensure the needs of the important work of community language schools and the needs of primary schools are complementary.

I understand the issues that have been raised by the school in question, which has an agreement with the community language school in relation to how the room is returned at the end community language lessons, noting that teachers go to a lot of effort to set up and plan their classrooms and lessons and interruptions to this can be counterproductive. I can confirm that Minister Berry and I are working hand in hand to resolve the current issues and in response to the wider review.

I also note the other issues and areas to which Mr Braddock calls on the government to investigate and explore, and we are happy to undertake this work, a good deal of which is an extension or a continuation of what we are already doing. As members may be aware, the Office of Multicultural Affairs works hand in hand with other directorates and multicultural community services, such as the Multicultural Hub and MARSS, to deliver positive outcomes for our linguistically diverse and multicultural Canberrans, such as the outcomes standards identified by the Settlement Council of Australia.

We continue also to improve the design and accessibility of multicultural grants and a range of government programs to make it easier for the community to engage, but we can always do more. For the benefit of members, some recent initiatives include the simplification of the 2022 National Multicultural Festival grants, and the delivery of two sector-specific workshops to support organisations with their applications. For those who submitted grant applications for the 2021 festival, which sadly has not been able to go ahead, we have ensured they have access to those applications so they do not have to duplicate effort.

In the other portfolio areas where I am directly responsible, we have been working to make the grants there simpler, clearer and more accessible generally. The recently

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video