Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 May 2009) . . Page.. 1985 ..
But there was a time—and it was right on the cusp of budget conclusion time—when I had some concerns about the ongoing issues around MYS. It had not been brought to my attention some months ago but it was brought to my attention only a week or so ago. I note that there was an email exchange between quite a number of people on the difficulties that MYS is actually encountering. But my understanding in recent days is that MYS is not quite as dire as it was before.
I can assure Ms Bresnan and the Assembly that, from my perspective as Minister for Multicultural Affairs, I highly value the services that the Multicultural Youth Service actually provides to the community. Were it not for that particular service, we would not have had a cultural change in our police force with regard to their attitude towards young people gathering in public places.
What I can say, though, is that, in this particular instance, there is nothing in the budget; no, quite right. Were we trying to perceive some way in which we could assist in the process? Yes, we were. But can I undertake right now to fund it? No, I cannot and I will not come in here and give you weasel words about that. No, I cannot. But there may very well be other ways in which assistance can be brought to assist MYS. I do not know enough about that at this stage.
With regard to MYS going forward, we need to understand that we have not—and the commonwealth government is in exactly the same boat—been funding core funding for certain community activities for quite some time. We have been doing project funding. Sometimes projects are successful and sometimes they are not. If in this particular case it is not, it does not mean to say that the case cannot be brought forward in the next budget round to have another crack at it. I am happy to have a look at it and maybe lend some more support to it.
MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary question?
MS BRESNAN: I will just note that I did actually call your office this afternoon about this. Will there still be funding provided to a multicultural youth service in the multicultural strategy and when is this funding likely to be provided?
MR HARGREAVES: I have not seen the final of the multicultural strategy at the moment, because it is still out there for community consultation and we have not completed it. The latest round of seeking community views on what should or should not be in that particular strategy has yet to be concluded. We have not actually got to the end of that yet.
When we have a look at the strategy, we will look at what resources will be brought to bear to attack particular issues contained in that strategy. There is a defined amount of money within the Office of Multicultural Affairs for activities in the multicultural sector. It is somewhere of the order—I do not want to be exact with this figure—of $75,000, around there. That has been applied for the last 2½ or three years, I think, to project funding specifically.