Page 339 - Week 01 - Thursday, 16 February 2012

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MS LE COUTEUR: Minister, what multicultural issues do you think could be advanced by having an ACT representative on the federal multicultural advisory body?

MS BURCH: The issues could be many and varied. I think it depends on topical issues at the time, but I think we can take a strong position of success to the council and tell them how successful we are in our multicultural community. Here in Canberra one in five are born overseas. We speak nearly 2,000 languages, and I think that was demonstrated on the weekend with nearly 2,000 performers and food and language and diversity from all corners of the globe. For those that did not experience that, there was a crew from SBS and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was there. No-one has walked away from the festival without recognising the celebration.

So whilst we can learn from being part of that national body, make no mistake that we continue to punch above our weight and we can provide them with some advice as well.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary question.

MS HUNTER: Minister, has the Australian government made any representations to you about the membership of the council and, if so, what was the nature of those representations?

MS BURCH: It really has been in response to my raising the matter and seeking to have representation on that council through letters and certainly a conversation with the parliamentary secretary on multicultural affairs. As stated at the ministerial meeting, in the not so distant future I will be having that conversation.

ACTION but service—bicycle racks

MR COE: My question is to the minister for transport. Minister, in 2005, to much fanfare, the ACT government committed $345,000 to trial bike racks on all inter-town 300 series bus routes. After a trial which was hailed a success, the government committed to spending even more money on the racks. Minister, does the government stand by the promise of 2005 regarding inter-town buses or is this yet another expensive backflip involving ACTION? Why is the government not going to install more racks?

MS GALLAGHER: I do not believe there is a minister for transport in the administrative orders, but I believe this falls within my portfolio responsibilities. I will have to go back and just check the record of what Mr Coe says before answering this in its entirety. I would say that those on this side of the chamber are very supportive of public transport and improving public transport in this town, including dedicated bus lanes, including improvement on the buses, including new park and rides, including the bike lockers that we have been installing around the town centres, including the opportunity to use bike racks on buses—

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