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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 November 2021) . . Page.. 3651 ..


As I said earlier, I also welcome the opportunity to speak to multicultural affairs. It is a space I am often keen to discuss, and some of the initiatives in this government’s budget which will best serve our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and multicultural communities over the next four years.

Indeed, I am pleased to see that this government will be establishing a Healing and Reconciliation Fund with money in this budget to facilitate community conversations about a treaty process for the ACT. This choice is particularly important as it has been, and continues to be, made clear that resounding community demands will remain ignored by the federal representatives. I am therefore proud to say that this government remains committed to, and has budgeted for, the provision of, legislative relief to its fullest capacity. Doing so will also serve to keep such conversations in the national discourse.

Similarly, in 2022 the Healing and Reconciliation Fund will support the work of the Ngunnawal Language Group to establish the Ngunnawal Language Centre, including funds to develop the government’s arrangements to oversee the administration of the Healing and Reconciliation Fund as per the 2019-2028 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement and priority reform area.

I am also very pleased to see that the COVID-19 community support package will include funding specifically for emergency material aid and support for vulnerable people in the multicultural community. Necessary supports for temporary visa holders through the Refugee, Asylum Seeker and Humanitarian Coordination Committee delivered by our community sector partners have been assured through this initiative. And these supports will almost certainly provide much-needed relief to members of Canberra’s multicultural community.

Another initiative of note featured in this budget I wish to speak to is the enactment of the Multicultural Recognition Act, which the ACT government will develop and implement, including establishing a multicultural charter. It is so important to ensure that the ACT’s commitments to the rights, aims, and principles of a multicultural society are formalised. Happily, funding will also be used to update accreditation and recognition of Canberra as a welcoming city to an advanced level.

Again, I am grateful for the opportunity to speak to just some of the initiatives included in this government’s budget which will benefit people with disability, their carers and multicultural communities, and look forward to their rollout over the next four years.

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (5.23): Madam Speaker, I need to seek your guidance. I am going to speak as Minister for Multicultural Affairs, but I am also going to speak on behalf of Minister Berry. Can I just keep going?

MADAM SPEAKER: I believe so.


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