Page 236 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 16 February 2011

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Today, I am very pleased that the bill will receive in-principle, tripartisan support and I look forward to working with colleagues in the Assembly, Ms Burch and Mrs Dunne, so that we will have a good piece of legislation that will, I believe, ensure that children and young people and their best interests and their health and wellbeing are certainly at the forefront of the work that we do in the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

Debate (on motion by Ms Bresnan) adjourned to the next sitting.


National Multicultural Festival

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Women) (6.13): I move:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

I would like to talk very briefly on the National Multicultural Festival that was held last weekend and offer my thanks and appreciation to the department, the volunteers, the community organisations, the business sector, the sponsors and all those who attended and made this year’s event such a resounding success. Indeed, the only complaint I have heard so far is that it took too long in a queue to get hold of some of the fabulous food. The crowd on the Saturday, I have been told, has been estimated at more than 110,000 throughout the day, which is more than for the three days of last year.

Walking through Civic during the festival, you realise that it is not just about eating—although that is a very good part of it—or catching a performance; it is also about celebrating our cultural diversity. It is about celebrating the communities that make up Canberra and many in the community being able to experience and learn more about other cultures. I would have to say that our Multicultural Festival brings out the best of Canberra.

As I was walking through the festival I was thinking that the world is witnessing some quite significant events, in particular the voice of the people of Egypt who are paving the way for the first democratic election in the country for more than 30 years. You could see the local Egyptian community at their stall, proudly sharing their culture with all of us. The same goes for the local Sudanese community, whose home is also experiencing some historic changes. They were out in force celebrating with all of Canberra.

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