Page 3944 - Week 12 - Thursday, 20 October 2005

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The first and more formal approach has been to invite members of various multicultural groups to attend forums. This enabled me to meet the groups and hear from them first hand. Since June this year I have met face to face with more than 200 people from more than 40 multicultural organisations including South Pacific islanders, Africans, Asians, Europeans, Latin Americans and Spanish-speaking communities. I have been particularly focused on meeting with small and emerging communities to hear first hand their views on a number of issues within the community. I have met with representatives from the emerging Mon, Sudanese, Ecuadorian, Bangladesh, Columbian, Ghanaian, Samoan and Solomon Islander communities. The second, less formal, consultation approach has been to engage with members of multicultural groups at their events. I have noted the absence of Mr Pratt at almost every one I have been to. I see some of his colleagues from time to time but I cannot recall seeing Mr Pratt at a multicultural event.

Mr Corbell: Maybe he has been banned again!

MR HARGREAVES: He probably has been. Since becoming responsible for multicultural affairs in November last year, I have had the pleasure of attending more than 50 multicultural events, ranging from Tibetan dance group performances to the Welsh society’s annual dinner, and taking in wonderful events such as Lao new year, the Maltese festival and the Pacific Islander Showcase.

Mr Pratt: And so you should be.

MR HARGREAVES: You should do more of it yourself, my dear boy.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Pratt!

MR HARGREAVES: I need to advise the chamber that I will be bringing together more of these groups over the next 12 months. Indeed, in November, I think it is, I will be meeting with people from the eastern European group of countries. I have also decided, with the support of my colleagues in caucus and cabinet, that we need to get as close as we can to these communities. To that end, we will be having a multicultural summit at the National Convention Centre in December and, of course, we will be formally opening the multicultural centre.

This government actually believes in going right down and talking to people and presenting ourselves to them. In doing that, I have been able to see, hear and share with people from many groups within Canberra. I must confess that I have not seen Mr Pratt at one of the numerous events I have been to and would urge Mr Smyth to consider the allocation of his portfolios.

Community Advocate—selection process

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Attorney-General. What recruitment process was followed in the appointment of the new Community Advocate? How many people were short-listed for the position?

MR STANHOPE: As I understand it—I am not quite sure of the full description of what the process would be—a rigorous merit-based selection process was pursued.

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