Page 881 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 24 February 2009

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Thank you, also for distributing car passes direct to residents of the building. This seemed to work much better than in the past.

And so on. Mr Hanson can sit there with a grin on his face and denigrate multiculturalism, but he will stand condemned for all time.

Ms Burch: Oh, you’re going to get a letter, John. You will get a letter from him in a minute. Don’t upset him.

MR HARGREAVES: I will get a letter from him but it will not have anybody’s name on it.

Mr Coe: Very witty.

MR HARGREAVES: I wasn’t talking to you, young fella. I do not bother talking to people like you. You are an urchin.

Mr Coe: And you’re a professional John.

MR HARGREAVES: I gave you a compliment before, Mr Coe. I hope you enjoy that compliment because it is the last one you are going to get.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, you have dealt well outside the directly relevant component of this question.

MR HARGREAVES: I take your ruling. Thank you, Mr Speaker. I will try to ignore the innate ramblings of mad people across the chamber henceforth.

The multicultural festival actually belongs to the people. There is a very strong sense of ownership in Canberra that we have developed but we have an international reputation. I was at a couple of multicultural events over this last weekend and was congratulated heartily on what we are trying to do. I should mention that it has grown incredibly, as people who went to Glebe Park know. It has 250 stalls. That is a 25 per cent increase on last year. That shows that people are making a penny out of it in support of their particular multicultural community.

Those folks opposite can denigrate it as much as they like but it will not make any difference. The multicultural community marches on without them. I think one of the successes that we had was expanding it into Glebe Park. There was a lot of shade in there. It was a very nice green area and it was relaxing. It showed that the place was expanding.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Burch, a supplementary question.

MS BURCH: A supplementary question, yes. Can the minister then go on to explain what impact the multicultural festival has on our multicultural community in the ACT?

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