Page 5126 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 17 November 2009

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way demonised because of the manner in which they have arrived in the country. We know that there are complexities to this in terms of how many ports they may have been in before attempting to come to Australia, but I think that we should, as a nation and as a city, take the approach that we should avoid wherever possible demonising these people and in some way looking to categorise them all in a particularly negative way.

I think that we have a proud record in the main in Australia, in welcoming migrants, in welcoming refugees. I think that if you look at our quota in terms of what we accept on a per capita basis, we compare very favourably to nations around the world. We also have had a history of a very orderly process for accepting people. I think we in the ACT, in particular, have had a proud record of being welcoming to migrants and to refugees. That is reflected in the strength of our community, and that is reflected in the fact that our multicultural community here in the ACT is one of the most harmonious in the country and, indeed, perhaps anywhere in the world. We do not see the “ghettoisation”, we do not see areas of Canberra being separated as a result of peoples’ various ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

I think we have a lot to be proud of here in the ACT in the way that we have developed as a genuine multicultural community and a harmonious community and, indeed, in the way that we have supported those who come here in very difficult circumstances—often with very little means, difficulties in relation to language, and cultural barriers.

Once again, in concluding, I pay tribute to those very fine organisations here in the ACT that do such a wonderful job of making our refugees and our migrants feel very welcome and allowing them to integrate into the Australian community and pursue that better life which all migrants who have come to Australia in one way or another are seeking.

MR SPEAKER: Discussion on the matter of public importance is concluded.


Motion (by Ms Burch) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

St Thomas the Apostle school fete

Holy Family school fete

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (4.30): On the weekend I had the opportunity, along with a number of my colleagues, to attend the St Thomas the Apostle school and parish fete. It was a wonderful event. Mr Doszpot was there, Mrs Dunne was there, I believe Senator Humphries was there and I believe Ms Burch was also there.

It was with particular pleasure that I went to St Thomas, as it was my old primary school where I attended way back when—not as far back as when many people in this

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