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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 November 2021) . . Page.. 3633 ..

An amazing local hero is Andrew Dale of the G Spot food van in Gungahlin. He has a big heart and a deep knowledge of the great suppliers and businesses of the ACT, including our supporter Frank Comisso and his family from Go Troppo Fruit and Vegetables, who supplied fruit and veggies at cost. The Longpark Meat Company supplied meat at cost. Go Troppo and Longpark Meat are both great longstanding Canberra businesses that we should support. Without these Canberra people, the assistance to multicultural families—which I was a small part of—would not have been possible, and it was our help in this vital multicultural portfolio area. Regarding the COVID-19 response for multicultural communities, I would also like to acknowledge Glenn Keys AO, who offered, and is delivering, training seminars about the vaccine to some newly arrived community members—how important it is and how it works. The seminars are very welcome and have been enjoyed by attendees.

The multicultural policy area is a policy area that receives bipartisan support. We take our roles here as MLAs and party representatives seriously, and as an opposition we need to look at the use of power and resources by the government. Looking at matters and pointing out flaws does create tension, but ultimately, we hope, it improves the lives and experiences of all Canberrans. However, that does not mean we cannot work together, and in this area we do.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (4.18): I rise to support part 1.8 for the Community Services Directorate. It is always a great pleasure to talk about the amazing work that the Community Services Directorate does, and the investments that we are continuing to make in this work.

Labor took an ambitious social policy agenda to the 2020 election. This included a significant focus on investing in stronger protection and support for children, young people and their families, and a firm commitment to self-determination and closing the gap in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This budget represents substantial progress in delivering Labor’s social policy agenda. It demonstrates a government that partners with the community and listens to those with lived experience and expertise.

Many of the significant measures in this budget represent partnerships. The Healing and Reconciliation Fund is a partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to invest in their priorities. The new facility for Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation is an investment in a respected and trusted community-controlled organisation to do more of what it does best for Aboriginal families and young people.

The Safe and Connected Youth project is a partnership with the community sector to address an area of need that they have identified, with solutions that they have developed with the engagement of young people with lived experience for a try, test and learn approach. We know that to deliver improvements in people’s lives, we must work with people, with communities and with the organisations that are on the ground. The 2021-22 budget demonstrates our commitment to this way of working. The budget provides targeted investment in our public service and in our community

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