Page 1012 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 25 February 2009

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from this, as the Chief Minister has foreshadowed; and that we do not get ourselves in this situation when we start to sell blocks of land in other places.

It is always contentious, and the Chief Minister will remember how contentious it was to sell blocks of land in the Kippax group centre in the last little while. We need to learn from our mistakes. And it might be true to say that we have always done it like this and we did it like this under previous governments as well but we did not always do it well and, when we do not do it well, we should learn from our mistakes. This was a mistake. It is not a hanging offence and we have been able to pull the fat out of the fire. I think we will end up with a good outcome. I thank members for their support.

Amendment agreed to

Motion, as amended, agreed to

National Multicultural Festival

MS BURCH (Brindabella) (4.16): I move:

That this Assembly recognises the continued success and growth of the Multicultural Festival, and its increasing importance as a flagship event in the ACT calendar that promotes harmony and goodwill among all citizens of the ACT.

Mr Speaker, people from all walks of life and from all corners of the ACT, as well as visitors from interstate and overseas, are well aware of the success and growth of the National Multicultural Festival. It is also an event on the ACT calendar reaching out and engaging all sectors of our community, offering participation and involvement on a number of levels through community groups, stallholders, dancers, event organisers, the members of the audience, the volunteers and more.

It is, and continues to be, a flagship event for a number of reasons. The Multicultural Festival is a significant vehicle for the promotion of harmony and goodwill in the ACT region. It is a vehicle for promoting the underlying principle of multiculturalism and demonstrates the way in which we lead the nation in this area. Canberrans know the importance of fostering a harmonious, accepting and culturally diverse community. It results in a strong social cohesion in the ACT and it is the result of working together; it is the result of mutual respect.

I am pleased to recognise the immense contribution the multicultural community has made to the look and feel of our city. It is something that we take pride in. Multiculturalism is an exclusive concept that celebrates and encourages diversity and the ACT government provides support and creates the opportunities for Canberrans to welcome, embrace and to celebrate this diversity.

I am proud to say that Canberrans welcome culture and religious diversity. We embrace the diversity and we celebrate our differences. There are many benefits of having a multicultural city like Canberra that is rich in languages and diverse in

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