Page 1340 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 5 April 2011

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MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, are you aware or were you aware before today of the commitment made by your staff in the text message sent on 16 March “if any concerns are put to me or the minister in any format of course we will act”?

MS BURCH: I do not think that is inconsistent with what I have just said—

Mrs Dunne: Are you aware?

MS BURCH: about that I am aware that this individual was offered to meet up with the chief executive. We also provided some correspondence to the department seeking further clarification. I do not think that is unremarkable or inconsistent with what you are saying.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Coe, a supplementary?

MR COE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, why did your officers take no action to investigate the allegation of documented evidence of collusion and cover-ups in your department, even after saying to the informant “if any concerns are put to me or the minister in any format, of course we will act”?

MS BURCH: I think I have just indicated that the person was offered a meeting with the chief executive of my department and correspondence was put through the department seeking further advice. I think we have prosecuted this point of cover-up. There is no cover-up. We went through that last week and I say it again this week.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary.

MR SESELJA: Minister, given your staff member’s text message, to what extent does a text message constitute a concern put—and I quote from your staff member’s text message—“in any format”?

MS BURCH: I think it has created a conversation with my office, but I am quite happy to explore that with my staff.

National Multicultural Festival—feedback

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Minister, what has been the community feedback from the 2011 National Multicultural Festival?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Hargreaves for his continued interest in the multicultural affairs of Canberra. I am extremely proud of the very successful festival we had this year and I commend the Office of Multicultural Affairs as well as the community organisations, sponsors and embassies which collaborated so well for the festival.

I am pleased to say that I have just received the preliminary results of the spectator survey for the 2011 festival, conducted by the Department of Disability, Housing and

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