Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (23 October) . . Page.. 4048 ..
that it is not appropriate to criticise the Prime Minister, and somehow that was being linked to multiculturalism. I did not quite follow that.
Mr Pratt said earlier that he was concerned that Mr Stanhope made comments about human rights in China. To somehow connect raising questions of human rights to not adopting a multicultural approach or not being inclusive is really stretching the argument. Obviously, any public figure and elected representative has the right to make comments about the fundamental principles that they support. If Mr Stanhope is concerned about the persecution of people for religious reasons-
MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: This is not necessarily within the context of this matter of public importance: the lack of support given to the multicultural community by the ACT government. Please continue.
MS TUCKER: I am not quite sure what the point was from Mr Deputy Speaker.
MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: I was just reading the matter of public importance: the lack of support given to the multicultural community by the ACT government.
MS TUCKER: If you had been listening, you would have heard me explain that arguments have been put to suggest that the Chief Minister was not supporting the multicultural community because he made certain statements. I am certainly on-topic, Mr Deputy Speaker.
Mr Pratt: That is not quite what I said.
MS TUCKER: Mr Pratt says that is not quite what he said. If that is not what he said, that is fine, and I will not attribute it to him. But I would still make that comment.
Mr Pratt: Fifty-fifty.
MS TUCKER: He says fifty-fifty. It is partly what he said, so my comments stand. It is quite appropriate that Mr Stanhope, or any member of the community or an organisation, make that sort of comment. The Chinese Embassy tried to prevent an advertisement being put in the free press of Australia about Tibet. I would say that that is an example of an attempt to oppress basic freedoms and rights in our country that we would all be very concerned about. In no way is making that comment not embracing the multicultural nature of Australia or the fact that we have many Chinese citizens in our community. We are just making a comment about an attempt to repress freedom of expression in a free society-the right to make comments about the domination of Tibet by China.
In conclusion, we are aware of a growing fundamentalism in the world at the moment, a conservatism that is-
At 5.00 pm, in accordance with standing order 74, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.
MS TUCKER: As I was saying, one of the key challenges for a multicultural system or an inclusive society is the shift toward fundamentalism around the world. There is