Page 385 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 15 February 2005

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Total ACT government support for the festival has gone from $310,000 in 2004 to $427,000 in 2005. Private sponsorship also has been strong, with organisations such as the Fyshwick fruit markets, ActewAGL and the Canberra Labor Club contributing significantly. I noticed that the 200 Club gave nothing. Of course, it is a community-based club! I also noticed that there was not all that much from some of the other significant umbrella groups around town. We should be talking to those in the coming months.

I would like to commend the people of Canberra who have come out in droves this year to support the festival. I would also like to congratulate the Office of Multicultural Affairs in the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services for its dedication in putting this magnificent event together.

One of the interesting things about this multicultural festival is that it has given proof to the real way in which Canberra exists as a multicultural city. In my travels recently I was reminded of how multicultural groups tend to collect in enclaves throughout their cities. You have only to look at a map of San Francisco or New York to see Little Italy, Little Korea, Little Japan and those sorts of things. You have only to go as far as Sydney to see that sort of thing occurring. Melbourne is exactly the same.

The ACT, on the other hand, does not have particular spaces where people will gather as groups, to the exclusion of other parts of town. Our multicultural groups—there are 86 of them—are actually spread throughout every street in town and they are in every organisation in town. In fact, Mr Speaker, we can truly call ourselves a multicultural and diverse city and we can be particularly proud of the way in which we show it off. The multicultural festival is a way to demonstrate to people internationally how we can have truth in unity and diversity and how we really do it. I think that Canberra is rapidly becoming a showcase for how to celebrate the colour of our multicultural groups throughout Australia and throughout the world.

Disability services

DR FOSKEY: My question is to the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, and is in regard to disability services. The minister might like to answer this now or get back to me later. As I understand it, Disability ACT has recently concluded a process of allocating 2004-05 funding for unmet need for disability services. Will the minister please provide the details of the process, including, first, the way successful recipients were determined; second, the number of unsuccessful applicants; and, third, the appeal options and alternative support options for those unsuccessful applicants?

MR HARGREAVES: I will have to get back to Dr Foskey about the detail of this question, particularly in relation to point 2, which asks for numbers. I have no intention of dropping numbers in the Assembly in response to fishing expeditions. However, when Dr Foskey talks about how people receive support, I presume she is talking about the individual support packages. It is not really a case of unmet need. Those people who receive it are examples of met need. Those people who did not receive it are examples of unmet need. I am sure Dr Foskey would be the first to acknowledge that no government will ever have enough money to satisfy all of those people who come forward.

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