Page 810 - Week 02 - Thursday, 12 February 2009

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mention some of the overseas missions that were represented last night—it is indeed an impressive line-up—the ambassadors of Peru, Chile, Mexico, Cuba, Lebanon, Nigeria and Morocco, and representatives from both the Embassy of Bulgaria and the High Commission of Cyprus.

It was also heartening to see strong representation from the Red Cross, who are doing such a magnificent job in coordinating the bushfire appeal for victims of the Victorian tragedy. The Red Cross ran what I believe was a very successful raffle to add to the bushfire appeal last night.

Over 300 guests attended last night’s function, a credit to the organisers and the strength of our diverse and active multicultural community in the ACT. Performers included some magnificent dances from the Solarico dance group, the Tango Social Club of Canberra and the Chilean dance group. Guests were also treated to a memorable performance from the Mexican singer, Selene y su Quimba. Again, a very enjoyable evening was had by all.

Finally, and with relevance to multicultural issues, after checking Hansard today I have become aware of an error in my speech on Ms Porter’s motion yesterday. During the debate on the motion on language education, I mentioned that there was a national Indigenous languages forum being held in Canberra. I would like to correct the record by saying that the Federation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages forum was held on 21 and 22 February 2008.

Legislative Assembly—Attorney General

Freedom of information—reform

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5:10): It is interesting that when the manager of government business moved the adjournment he said that we are in the groove for this sitting period, but he did not seem to enjoy it very much. I think it is probably pertinent that we reflect upon some of the decisions of and events in the house this week, especially as they relate to the manager of government business.

It is not often that members are censured in any way in this house, and it is a traumatic experience for people if they are subject to any sort of censure or vote of want of confidence, but I think that the events of earlier this week show that, when necessary, members should take these matters seriously. In expressing serious concern about the Attorney-General for his comments, I think we now probably have one of the most censured members in the history of the Assembly.

There are things in relation to that issue which are still unclear, and the Attorney-General highlighted those in remarks after question time today. He needs to make perfectly clear in the Assembly—perhaps he should do this when we next sit in a fortnight—exactly what the status is of charges against certain individuals, because it is entirely confusing. The minister said on radio that the individuals had been charged. He spoke as if they had been charged and expressed views about their guilt, which unfortunately resulted in the censure. It is now time to clear up exactly when those men were charged so we know exactly what it is that we are talking about.

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